Bob Menendez Now Accused of Aiding Qatar

In exchange for alleged bribes including cash, gold bars
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2024 12:00 AM CST
Bob Menendez Now Accused of Aiding Qatar
Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., departs the Senate floor in the Capitol, Sept. 28, 2023, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

A second superseding indictment against Sen. Bob Menendez was unsealed Tuesday, accusing the New Jersey Democrat of using his political power to aid the Qatari government in return for tens of thousands of dollars in bribes. Federal prosecutors say Menendez helped to arrange a deal between a Jersey developer, Fred Daibes, and a Qatari sheikh investor, the New York Times reports. In return, prosecutors say, Menendez was paid off with cash, gold bars, Formula 1 tickets, and more. The Washington Post explains that the indictment does not add charges, but makes public for the first time new allegations of corruption against Menendez. Daibes is also charged in the case, NBC News reports.

Menendez, who is scheduled to go on trial in May and has also been accused of aiding Egypt, has so far pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him and may still run for reelection (he did, however, step down from leading the Senate Foreign Relations Committee). A spokesperson calls the latest allegations "a string of baseless assumptions and bizarre conjectures based on routine, lawful contacts between a Senator and his constituents." Menendez is accused of making public statements praising Qatar and of giving them to Daibes so that Daibes could share them with the Qatari investor (a member of the royal family) as well as a Qatari government official during the time Daibes' deal was in talks. Menendez also allegedly talked to the investor directly, using an encrypted messaging app, to express his support for the deal. (More Bob Menendez stories.)

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