Sen Bob Menendez Hit With Superseding Indictment Over Accepting Qatari Bribes

Sen Bob Menendez Hit With Superseding Indictment Over Accepting Qatari Bribes

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Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) was hit with a superseding federal indictment on Jan. 2 involving more accusations of bribery.

In the indictment, prosecutors allege that Mr. Menendez, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he was chairman until his initial indictment in September, “used his influence and power” and violated his duty in order to introduce businessman developer Fred Daibes to a potential Qatari investor. The indictment does not make clear how Qatar benefited from the deal.

Mr. Menendez got 2022 Formula One Grand Prix tickets and other gifts from Qatar, according to the indictment.

Mr. Menendez has been hit with conspiracy and bribery charges.

Mr. Menendez’s previous indictment alleges that the senator and his wife, Nadine Menendez, took bribes from three supporters—Mr. Daibes, Wael Hana, and Jose Uribe—in exchange for favorable treatment surrounding the government of Egypt, whose human rights record, like Qatar’s, has come under fire. The gifts included gold bars, home mortgage payments and a fancy car, it says.

Mr. Menendez also allegedly pressured the New Jersey attorney general’s office related to a prosecution against Mr. Uribe, who pleaded guilty in 2011 to a charge of third-degree theft by deception and was sentenced to three years probation.

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Additionally, Mr. Menendez allegedly promised to ask President Donald Trump to appoint a U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey to interfere in a prosecution of Mr. Daibes on fraud and other financial-related charges. He pleaded guilty to the charges in 2018, but withdrew the plea, and his trial has been postponed.

The last time the senator was indicted was in 2015, but the trial resulted in a hung jury, and prosecutors declined to bring up the case again.

Mr. Menendez has resisted calls to resign and has said he will “continue to fight for the people of New Jersey with the same success I’ve had for the past five decades” and that people “are rushing to judge a Latino and push him out of his seat.”

“Sen. Menendez has made these sacrifices in the past to serve. And in this case, he must do so again,” said Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) “I believe stepping down is best for those Sen. Menendez has spent his life serving.”

“Under our legal system, Senator Menendez and the other defendants have not been found guilty and will have the ability to present evidence disputing these charges, and we must respect the process,” said New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, in a statement.

“However, the alleged facts are so serious that they compromise the ability of Senator Menendez to effectively represent the people of our state. Therefore, I am calling for his immediate resignation.”

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