Jersey’s Menendez Says Cuba Behind Smear Plot

Courtesy of the Office of Sen. Menendez

Courtesy of the Office of Sen. Menendez

The Washington Post reports:

Sen. Robert Menendez is asking the Justice Department to pursue evidence obtained by U.S. investigators that the Cuban government concocted an elaborate plot to smear him with allegations that he cavorted with underage prostitutes, according to people familiar with the discussions.

In a letter sent to Justice Department officials, the senator’s attorney asserts that the plot was timed to derail the ­political rise of Menendez (D-N.J.), one of Washington’s most ardent critics of the Castro regime. At the time, Menendez was running for reelection and was preparing to assume the powerful chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

According to a former U.S. official with firsthand knowledge of government intelligence, the CIA had obtained credible evidence, including Internet protocol addresses, linking Cuban agents to the prostitution claims and to efforts to plant the story in U.S. and Latin American media.

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Bill Would Let Tesla Sell Direct to New Jersey Buyers

New Jersey is no longer a socialist paradise as far as cars are concerned: The free market can rule.

OK, maybe that’s hyperbole, but the state is closer to lifting restrictions that allow Tesla — the electric sportscar maker — to market its cars directly to New Jersey drivers without going through third-party dealerships. The state had ordered the company to stop selling its cars directly in April.

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Christie Aide Denies Role in Bridgegate Closure

[Update 1:30 pm] The Inquirer reports:

Gov. Christie’s chief of staff testified today before the legislative panel probing the George Washington Bridge lane closures that he had nothing to do with the controversy.

Kevin O’Dowd said he wanted to start the hearing “by making very clear to the committee that I had no prior knowledge of, or played no role in, the decision to close the lanes at the bridge last September.”

[Original] The Wall Street Journal reports that today could be a make-or-break day for the investigations into the Bridgegate scandal in New Jersey. Kevin O’Dowd, chief of staff to Gov. Chris Christie, has been subpoenaed to testify. His words may well decide where or how the investigations proceed from here.

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