The New Jersey Senator has been formally charged
Bob Menendez AFP

Embattled Senator Bob Menendez, a prominent figure in the U.S. political Latino community, faces new allegations in the context of the indictment against him for acting as a foreign agent.

Concretely, prosecutors allege that Menendez introduced a member of the Qatari royal family member and prominent figure in the country's investment fund to Fred Daibes, a New Jersey businessman, before the company invested millions in his real estate project.

According to The Associated Press, no new charges were added to the latest version of the indictment, which already charged Menendez in a bribery scheme.

Similarly to the accusations regarding his actions as a foreign agent on behalf of Egypt, Menendez accepted cash and gold bars in exchange for introducing the member of the Qatari royal family to Daibes.

The new allegations continue expanding the picture of Menendez's actions. In October, prosecutors accused him and his wife of conspiring to perform "a series of acts on behalf of Egypt, including on behalf of Egyptian Military and intelligence officials".

Along with Egyptian-American businesswoman Wael Hana, Menendez's wife also communicated requests and directives from Egyptian officials to the senator, whose parents hailed from Cuba. The Department of Justice requires all people, companies and other entities who act on behalf of foreign governments to enter a register.

The charges come a few weeks after the first batch against Menendez: on September 22, he and his wife were accused of accepting bribes linked to Egypt in exchange for using his influence as a senator to benefit three businesspeople from the state he represents. The indictment alleges that Menendez received bribes in the form of gold bars, cash and luxury vehicles.

The senator has stepped down from his position of chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but so far rejected all charges. In late September que used his Latin heritage to deflect criticism as his Capital Hill colleagues call on him to resign.

"Those behind this campaign simply cannot accept that a first-generation Latino American from humble beginnings could rise to be a U.S. Senator and serve with honor and distinction," said Menendez. Even worse, they see me as an obstacle in the way of their broader political goals."

Menéndez is the son of Cuban immigrants who was first elected into Congress as a U.S. Representative for New Jersey's 13th district in 1993. After spending some years in the House of Representatives, in 2006, he was appointed by New Jersey's governor to fill a vacancy in the Senate.

Menéndez and the other defendants could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the initial charges. The figure could increase if they were to be found guilty of the new ones.

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