Sen. Bob Menendez hit with new allegations involving bribes and a Qatari investment deal

A federal grand jury has filed a second superseding indictment against Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., following previous allegations of accepting bribes.

The new allegations say Menendez made positive statements about Qatar to help a New Jersey developer get a multimillion-dollar investment from a company tied to the country. The developer cited in the indictment is Fred Daibes, who has also been charged in the case.

During the time of the discussions in late 2021 into 2022 for the investment in the deal, Menendez allegedly made a number of statements supportive of Qatar.

Sen. Bob Menendez during a Senate committee hearing in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 6, 2023.Alex Brandon / AP file

“Menendez provided Daibes with these statements so that Daibes could share them with the Qatari Investor and a Qatari government official associated with the Qatari Investment Company,” the indictment says.

Prosecutors allege that Daibes exchanged text messages with Menendez about the alleged scheme. In September 2021, Daibes sent Menendez, via an encrypted app, photos taken from Daibes’ computer of luxury watches valued from $9,990 to $23,990 and asked Menendez “how about one of those,” according to prosecutors.

NBC News has reached out to Menendez’s office for comment on the new allegations.

Menendez and Daibes have bothpleaded not guiltyin the case. Prosecutors alleged in an indictment in September that Menendez and his wife used his influence to pocket hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes, including “cash, gold bars, payments toward a home mortgage, compensation for a low-or-no-show job, a luxury vehicle and other items of value.”

The new indictment indicates that federal prosecutors reviewed web searches by Menendez after he returned in October 2021 from a trip to Qatar, where, they allege, Menendez searched “how much is one kilo of gold worth.”

It was Menendez who introduced Daibes to the unnamed Qatari investor, who is a member of the Qatari royal family, according to the indictment.

The Qatari company struck a deal to invest with Daibes after a May 2022 meeting with him and Menendez, and Daibes gave Menendez “at least one gold bar” afterwards, the indictment said.

By 2023, the “Qatari Investment Company entered into a joint venture with a company” controlled by Daibes and “invested tens of millions of dollars into the project,” the indictment said. Menendez, meanwhile, “continued to receive things of value from the Qatari Investment Company,” including tickets to the 2023 Formula One Grand Prix in Miami.

The indictment noted a search warrant of Menendez’s home in 2022 turned up “two one-kilogram gold bars and nine one-ounce gold bars that had serial number indicating they had previously been possessed” by Daibes.

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