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Justice Department to Announce Charges Against Texas Democrat Henry Cuellar

Henry Cuellar
Henry Cuellar

The Justice Department is poised to indict long-serving Representative Henry Cuellar, a Democrat from Texas, on Friday, according to sources familiar with the matter. This development follows a raid on Cuellar’s home and campaign office in Laredo, Texas, in January 2022 as part of a federal investigation into connections between Azerbaijan and certain U.S. businessmen.

Although Cuellar’s office pledged cooperation with the investigation, it remains unclear whether the impending indictment is directly related to the 2022 raid. The Justice Department has refrained from commenting on the matter.

Cuellar, a former co-chair of the Congressional Azerbaijan Caucus, has denied any wrongdoing in a statement issued Friday. He emphasized seeking legal counsel from the House Ethics Committee, stating that he and his wife, Imelda Cuellar, are innocent of the allegations. Cuellar asserted his dedication to serving the people of South Texas and reaffirmed his intention to seek reelection, dismissing the allegations as unfounded.

Despite the ongoing legal scrutiny, Cuellar has remained steadfast in his political ambitions, expressing confidence in his reelection prospects. He narrowly triumphed over a progressive challenger in the 2022 primary and secured reelection to his seat later that year.

Henry Cuellar

Henry Cuellar (Credits: CNN)

Cuellar faces no primary challengers this year but will contend in the general election seeking his 11th term in Congress. However, the impending indictment may render him more vulnerable politically, given the district’s Democratic leanings and recent shifts in demographics.

Cuellar’s political adversaries have seized upon the indictment as an opportunity to question his integrity and fitness for office. The National Republican Congressional Committee has called on Cuellar to resign, accusing him of prioritizing self-interest over the welfare of Texas constituents. The indictment poses a significant challenge to Cuellar’s political career, particularly in light of his stance as the sole Democrat in Congress opposing abortion rights, a position that has drawn criticism from within his own party.

Henry Cuellar, aged 66, boasts a diverse professional background as a lawyer, former customs broker, and Texas secretary of state. He aligns himself with centrist Democratic groups such as the Blue Dogs and New Democrat Coalition. Despite facing legal and political headwinds, Cuellar remains resolute in his commitment to representing his constituents and advancing his political agenda in Congress.

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