Mon. May 20th, 2024

DOJ expected to announce indictment of Texas Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar, sources say

By 37ci3 May3,2024

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department is expected to announce the indictment of longtime Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, on Friday, two sources familiar with the matter told NBC News.

Cuellar’s home and campaign office in Laredo, Texas, It was raided in January 2022 As part of a federal investigation into Azerbaijan and a group of US businessmen with ties to the country, law enforcement officials said at the time. His office has promised to cooperate with the investigation. Cuellar’s attorney Joshua Berman in April told some news agencies federal authorities said he was not a target of the investigation.

Cuellar is a one-time co-chairman of the Azerbaijan Group of the Congress.

It was not immediately clear if the indictment was related to the 2022 raid. The Ministry of Justice refused to comment. NBC News has reached out to Cuellar and the attorney representing him for comment.

A source familiar with the calls told NBC News that Cuellar’s staff was calling other member offices Friday to get advice on how to handle the situation.

A year after the home invasion — with no prior arrests or charges — Cuellar told the Texas Tribune, “There was no wrongdoing on my part. … My focus has remained the same since my first day in office: delivering results for Texans throughout my district.”

Despite the raid, Cuellar narrowly defeated progressive challenger Jessica Cisneros in the 2022 primary and won re-election to her seat that November. He is unopposed this year and will be on the ballot this November to seek his 11th term in Congress.

Two years ago, Cuellar easily defeated Republican candidate Cassie Garcia 57% to 43%. When redistricting took parts of San Antonio, his district became bluer. But the indictment will make Cuellar more vulnerable than ever. The two Republicans face each other in a runoff in late May for a chance to challenge Cuellar in the fall.

Cuellar, 66, is a lawyer, former customs broker and Texas secretary of state. A member of the centrist Blue Dogs and New Democrat Coalition, Cuellar was elected to the House of Representatives in 2004.

He’s the only Democrat in Congress who opposes abortion rights — a position he has angered many in his party.

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By 37ci3

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