Democrat Henry Cuellar Releases Statement After Being Indicted On Federal Charges
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 30: U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) speaks on southern border security and illegal immigration, during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on July 30, 2021 in Washington, DC. Cuellar urged the Biden administration to name former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson as a border czar.
Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images

Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) released a statement on Friday maintaining his innocence after he and his wife were indicted on federal corruption and bribery charges.

The 68-year-old congressman was charged along with his wife, Imelda Cuellar, 67, of participating in two alleged schemes involving bribery, unlawful foreign influence, and money laundering, the DOJ said in a statement.

The Cuellars allegedly took nearly $600,000 in bribes from an oil and gas company that is wholly owned and controlled by the government of Azerbaijan and a bank that is headquartered in Mexico city.

“The bribe payments were laundered, pursuant to sham consulting contracts, through a series of front companies and middlemen into shell companies owned by Imelda Cuellar,” prosecutors allege. “Cuellar performed little or no legitimate work under the sham contracts.”

“I want to be clear that both my wife and I are innocent of these allegations,” he claimed in a statement. “Everything I have done in Congress has been to serve the people of South Texas.”

Cuellar claimed that he only took the actions after he “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.”

He said that the actions he took were “consistent with the actions of many of my colleagues” and that they were always in America’s interests.


Cuellar praised his wife in the statement and claimed that she was an accomplished business professional and said that he was offended by the insinuation that his wife was “anything but qualified and hard working.”

The indictment comes after the FBI raided Cuellar’s home and campaign office back in 2022 as part of the criminal investigation into the former Soviet state of Azerbaijan and several U.S. businessmen. Numerous items were seized during the raid.

Prosecutors allege that in exchange for the bribes, Cuellar, who is the Ranking Member on the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, used his office to influence U.S. foreign policy in a manner favorable to Azerbaijan.

“In exchange for the bribes paid by the Mexican bank, Congressman Cuellar allegedly agreed to influence legislative activity and to advise and pressure high-ranking U.S. Executive Branch officials regarding measures beneficial to the bank,” the DOJ said.

Both individuals were charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit bribery of a federal official and to have a public official act as an agent of a foreign principal; two counts of bribery of a federal official; two counts of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud; two counts of violating the ban on public officials acting as agents of a foreign principal; one count of conspiracy to commit concealment money laundering; and five counts of money laundering.

If convicted on all of the charges, both individuals face a maximum of up to 204 years in prison.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Democrat Henry Cuellar Releases Statement After Being Indicted On Federal Charges