Indictment Alleges Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar and Wife Accepted $600,000 in Bribes

Democratic Representative Henry Cuellar of Texas and his wife, Imelda Cuellar, are facing charges for allegedly accepting nearly $600,000 in bribes from two foreign entities, according to a federal indictment in Texas.

The indictment asserts that the alleged scheme occurred from late 2014 through at least November 2021. The congressman and his wife appeared in court in Houston on Friday and were released on a $100,000 bond.

They are charged with conspiracy to commit bribery of a federal official, violating the ban on public officials acting as agents of a foreign principal, and money laundering.

In a statement, Cuellar maintained his innocence, stating that everything he has done in Congress has been to serve the people of South Texas.

He emphasized that his actions were in the interest of the American people and vowed to continue his bid for reelection in November. Cuellar also defended his wife, rejecting allegations against her as inaccurate and offensive.

According to prosecutors, the Cuellars devised schemes to receive bribes from an oil and gas company owned by the Government of Azerbaijan and a bank based in Mexico City.

In exchange for these payments, Cuellar purportedly agreed to perform official acts as a Member of Congress, including influencing US policy regarding Azerbaijan’s conflict with Armenia and advocating for financial regulations favorable to the Mexican bank.

The indictment alleges that the couple received bribe payments through shell companies owned by Imelda Cuellar. These funds were reportedly used for various expenses, including taxes, debt payments, and lavish personal purchases.

Cuellar’s home and campaign office in Laredo, Texas, were raided by the FBI in 2022, although the specific charges against him are not publicly available at this time.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries’ spokesperson emphasized Cuellar’s presumption of innocence but announced that Cuellar would temporarily step down from his position on a House Appropriations Subcommittee pending the investigation.

The National Republican Congressional Committee has called for Cuellar’s resignation, stating that if his colleagues truly prioritize people over politics, they should demand his resignation.

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