DOJ Indicts Longtime Dem Rep. Henry Cuellar

REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Henry Rodgers Chief National Correspondent
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The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Friday the indictment of longtime Democratic Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar and his wife, Imelda.

Cuellar and his wife allegedly accepted $600,000 in bribes from an Azerbaijanian Government-controlled oil and gas company and a bank headquartered in Mexico City, court documents say, according to a DOJ press release. In exchange, Cuellar allegedly obliged to try to shift American foreign policy in Azerbaijan’s favor. Cuellar also allegedly accepted to influence U.S Executive Branch Officials and legislative activity to help benefit the Mexican bank. (RELATED: Dem Rep Rips Nonprofit For Allegedly Using Taxpayer Funds To Fly Migrants Around US)

“An indictment was unsealed today in the Southern District of Texas charging U.S. Congressman Enrique Roberto “Henry” Cuellar, 68, and his wife, Imelda Cuellar, 67, both of Laredo, Texas, with participating in two schemes involving bribery, unlawful foreign influence, and money laundering. Congressman Cuellar and Imelda Cuellar made their initial court appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dena Palermo in Houston,” the DOJ said in the statement.

Cuellar co-chaired the Azerbaijan Caucus in Congress at one point.

U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) gives an interview in Laredo, Texas, U.S., October 9, 2019. Picture taken October 9, 2019. REUTERS/Veronica Cardenas

The Texas Democrat released a statement denying any wrong doing: “I want to be clear that both my wife and I are innocent of these allegations,” Cuellar said. “Before I took any action, I proactively sought legal advice from the House Ethics Committee, who gave me more than one written opinion, along with an additional opinion from a national law firm.”

Federal officials raided Cuellar’s Laredo, Texas, home and campaign office in January 2022 in relation to an investigation regarding his alleged ties to Azerbaijan. Cuellar denied any wrongdoing at the time. (RELATED: ‘They Took My Sushi’: Dem Rep. Henry Cuellar Speaks Out After DC Carjacking)