Sen. Bob Menendez accused of accepting bribes to benefit Qatar in superseding federal indictment

FILE - U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) participates in a Senate Banking Committee hearing at the Hart Senate Office Building on Dec. 6, 2023, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., is facing additional bribery accusations, according to a superseding indictment unsealed Tuesday. 

Menendez is now accused of accepting bribes and gifts in exchange for helping to benefit Qatar as part of a yearslong corruption scheme from 2021 through 2023, one year longer than originally thought, the Justice Department said. 

His attorney, Adam Fee, said the new allegations "stink of desperation."

"Despite what they’ve touted in press releases, the government does not have the proof to back up any of the old or new allegations against Senator Menendez, Fee said. "What they have instead is a string of baseless assumptions and bizarre conjectures based on routine, lawful contacts between a Senator and his constituents or foreign officials.  They are turning this into a persecution, not a prosecution."

He added that the senator acted appropriately with respect to Qatar, Egypt and other countries he interacts with. 

Menendez is already facing federal charges for allegedly acting as a foreign agent and accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes to benefit the Egyptian government through his power and influence as a Senator.


Menendez, along with his wife Nadine and three other New Jersey businessmen — Wael Hana, Jose Uribe and Fred Daibes — were first charged in the federal bribery scheme on Sept. 23. All have pleaded not guilty. 

Among the new allegations is that Menendez and hs wife enriched themselves with cash, gold bars and a luxury car. The couple received the gifts in exchanged for Menendez using his influence to induce the Qatari Investment Co. to invest with Daibes.

Menendez made several public statements supporting the Qatari government and then provided them to Daibes so he could share them with the Qatari investor and a Qatari government official. The investor negotiated a million dollar investment real estate project with Daibes.  

FBI and IRS criminal investigators allege that Menendez and his wife accepted several gold bars and other gifts from Daibes, a New Jersey developer and former bank chairman accused of banking crimes. Menendez allegedly worked to help appoint a prosecutor who would be sympathetic to Daibes, according to the indictment.

The original indictment alleges that from at least 2018 through 2022, Menendez and his wife, Nadine, "engaged in a corrupt relationship" with Daibes, Hana and Uribe.

Following his arrest in September, Menendez gave up his position as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee but has resisted calls for him to resign. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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