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Texas Democrat Rep. Henry Cuellar, Wife Indicted for Bribery

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The Department of Justice announced the indictment of U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar (D-TX) and his wife, Imelda, on charges of accepting bribes. Cuellar, the representative for Texas 28th Congressional District, has been in office since 2005. The indictments come more than two years after agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation served a search warrant on Cuellar’s Laredo home.

DOJ officials stated that the congressman and his wife are charged with accepting nearly $600,000 in bribes from an energy company in Azerbaijan. Cuellar and his wife appeared before Magistrate Judge Dena Palermo in Houston.

Prosecutors claim the couple accepted the bribes from the energy company controlled by the Government of Azerbaijan and a bank located in Mexico City. The payments were laundered through sham consulting contracts. The congressman then provided influence for the energy company to affect U.S. foreign policy and to pressure U.S. Executive Branch officials to benefit the bank’s interest, prosecutors stated.

In January 2022, Cuellar’s home on Estate Drive in Laredo was raided by federal authorities. At the time of the raid, Breitbart Texas contacted Cuellar’s Office who confirmed the search warrant was executed at the address and added that “Congressman Cuellar will fully cooperate in any investigation. He is committed to ensuring that justice and the law are upheld,” according to Cuellar’s Press Secretary Dana Yougentob.

According to an Associated Press news report shortly after the raid, Cuellar’s attorney Joshua Berman issued a statement indicating the congressman was not the target of the investigation according to federal authorities. According to law enforcement authorities, the raid on Cuellar’s residence in 2022 was in connection to an ongoing federal investigation related to Azerbaijan and improprieties involving U.S. businessmen with the country.

At the time of the raids, Cuellar was the co-chair of the Congressional Azerbaijan Caucus. According to the CIA world factbook, the oil-rich nation is predominantly Muslim and has a history of corruption. The factbook describes issues within the country stating:

Since gaining its independence in 1991, Azerbaijan has significantly reduced the poverty rate and has directed some revenue from its oil and gas production to develop the country’s infrastructure. However, corruption remains a burden on the economy, and Western observers and members of the country’s political opposition have accused the government of authoritarianism.

In a statement issued by Cuellar on Friday, the congressman says he and his wife are innocent of any allegations that have surfaced in recent media reports and continue to deny any wrongdoing.

In the statement, Cuellar said “I want to be clear that both my wife and I are innocent of these allegations. Everything I have done in Congress has been to serve the people of South Texas.” The congressman continues to seek re-election this November. In November, Cuellar will face the winner of the Republican Primary runoff election where Jay Furman and Lazaro Garza, Jr. are vying for the nomination

The Cuellars face the following charges, according to the DOJ:

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, five years in prison on each count; two counts of bribery of a federal official, 15 years in prison on each count; two counts of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud, 20 years in prison on each count; two counts of violating the ban on public officials acting as agents of a foreign principal, two years in prison on each count; one count of conspiracy to commit concealment money laundering, 20 years in prison; and five counts of money laundering, 20 years in prison on each count.

Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol.  Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.

Bob Price is the Breitbart Texas-Border team’s associate editor and senior news contributor. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday morning talk show. He also serves as president of Blue Wonder Gun Care Products 

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