Senator Bob Menendez accused of introducing Qatari royal family member to aid NJ businessman

ByAaron Katersky WABC logo
Wednesday, January 3, 2024
NJ Sen. Menendez accused of receiving gifts from Qatar
Eyewitness News has more on the latest allegations against the New Jersey congressman.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Sen. Bob Menendez is facing additional allegations contained in a superseding indictment returned Tuesday in New York.

The new allegations accuse Menendez, who has pleaded not guilty to all prior counts, of making positive comments about Qatar in exchange for items of value, including luxury wristwatches.

The luxury wristwatches Menendez was allegedly offered were valued between $10,000 and $24,000, according to the new indictment.

"How about one of these," the indictment quoted co-defendant Fred Daibes as saying in a message he sent to Menendez along with photos of the watches.

Menendez and Daibes had attended an event in Manhattan hosted by the Qatari government, prosecutors said.

Two days later, September 29, 2021, Daibes sent Menendez a message about a Senate resolution supportive of Qatar as the Qatari Investment Company considered a real estate investment with Daibes.

By March of 2022 the Qataris were offering Nadine Menendez tickets to the Formula One Grand Prix in Florida, prosecutors said, and by 2023 the Qatari Investment Company completed a joint venture with Daibes worth tens of millions of dollars.

Thereafter, according to the indictment, Menendez "continued to receive things of value" from the Qataris.

A previous superseding indictment filed in October said Menendez "made multiple requests for the U.S. Department of Justice to commence an investigation against another person for allegedly failing to register under FARA."

That indictment, filed in Manhattan federal court, said the conspiracy occurred from January 2018 to June 2022. It included four new charges and appears to mark the first time a sitting member of Congress has ever been charged with conspiracy for a public official to act as a foreign agent.

The October charge came just weeks after the Democrat and his wife were accused of accepting bribes of cash, gold bars and a luxury car from three New Jersey businessmen who wanted the senator to help and influence over foreign affairs. The couple have pleaded not guilty.

Menendez, 69, has previously insisted that he did nothing unusual to assist Egypt and that prosecutors had misunderstood the work of a senator involved in foreign affairs.

Authorities who searched Menendez's home last year said they found more than $100,000 worth of gold bars and over $480,000 in cash - much of it hidden in closets, clothing and a safe.

(Editor's note: A previous version of this story incorrectly said Menendez was facing new charges, however the superseding indictment contains new allegations, not new charges.)

ALSO READ | Deadly crash from 2018 involving Senator Menendez's wife gets new attention after indictment

Nadine Menendez was driving her Mercedes-Benz in Bogota, New Jersey, when she struck and killed 49-year-old Richard Koop. Jim Dolan has the latest details.


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