Sen. Menendez Facing New Charges Involving Qatar

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Today, Sen. Menendez was hit with a new indictment which includes some additional charges. Now, in addition to the previous charges accusing him of acting as an agent of Egypt, he is also accused of helping a New Jersey businessman make a deal with Qatar in exchange for expensive gifts including a nice watch and some gold bars.


The latest indictment alleges Menendez introduced [real estate developer Fred] Daibes, who was seeking an investment, to a member of the Qatari royal family and principal of the Qatari Investment Company. While the Qatari investment fund was weighing an investment, Menendez made multiple public statements supporting the government of Qatar, according to the indictment.

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

In August 2021, the senator sent a press release in which he praised the Qatari government to Daibes, texting him, “You might want to send to them. I am just about to release,” the indictment alleges. The following month, after attending a private event hosted by the Qatari government in Manhattan, Daibes texted Menendez photographs of luxury watches valued as much as $23,990, asking, “How about one of these?”

The photos sent to the Senator are included in the indictment:

Several weeks later, on October 17, 2021, Daibes sent his driver to pick up Menendez and his wife who were returning from a trip to Egypt and Qatar. The next day Sen. Menendez did a web search for “how much is one kilo of gold worth.”


Nadine Menendez met with Daibes several months later, in March 2022. After that lunch meeting she texted him “THANK YOU Fred” along with some emojis. The next day she showed up at a jewelers with two one kilo gold bars worth about $60,000 each. Nadine told the jeweler the gold bars had been given to her by her mother but both bars had serial numbers which indicated they had come from Daibes. Later that night, Daibes and Sen. Menendez met for dinner.

When a search warrant was carried out at Menendez’ home in June, investigators found two one kilo gold bars and nine smaller one ounce gold bars. All of them had previously belonged to Fred Daibes.

The Qatari Investment Corporation did eventually invest tens of millions of dollars with Fred Daibes and as recently as May of 2023, the Qataris sent Sen. Menendez and his wife tickets to a Formula One race in Miami.

Sen. Menendez has previously denied all of the charges against him and his attorney is doing the same today.

Adam Fee, a lawyer for Mr. Menendez, said Tuesday that the government’s 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,” Mr. 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.”

“At all times,” he added, “Senator Menendez acted entirely appropriately with respect to Qatar, Egypt and the many other countries he routinely interacts with.”


The new indictment also points to what prosecutors claim is an attempted cover-up.

Specifically, prosecutors said that in December 2022 the Menendezes attempted to repay tens of thousands of dollars worth of bribes that had come in the forms of payments for a home mortgage and toward a Mercedes-Benz convertible. In both cases, the couple created documentation describing the original bribes as loans they were repaying, the indictment said.

I sort of thought Democrats had run out of excuses for keeping Menendez around when the GOP finally ousted George Santos from the House. But I guess the rules are different for Democrats. They are going to hold onto Menendez until the cell door clinks shut behind him. That may not be much longer. His trial is set for May. 

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