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BREAKING: Rep. Henry Cuellar and Wife Indicted on Bribery Charges

The Texas Democrat and his wife allegedly accepted over half-a-million in bribes.

US Representative Henry Cuellar (D-TX) and his wife, Imelda, were indicted Friday, May 3, on bribery and money laundering charges. The Justice Department filing details nearly $600,000 in payments the Texas Democrat allegedly accepted both from an Azerbaijan oil company and a Mexican bank.

“The bribe payments were allegedly laundered, pursuant to sham consulting contracts, through a series of front companies and middlemen into shell companies owned by Imelda Cuellar, who performed little to no legitimate work under the contracts,” the DOJ wrote in a press release. “In exchange for the bribes paid by the Azerbaijani oil and gas company, Congressman Cuellar allegedly agreed to use his office to influence U.S. foreign policy in favor of 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 congressman publicly denied that he or his wife had done anything wrong, saying that he had even proactively sought legal advice from the House Ethics Committee before acting. At the very least, however, Cuellar will have to step down as the co-chair of the Congressional Azerbaijan Caucus and as ranking member of the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, according to House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY).

Rep. Cuellar has held his seat for 19 years and is running for re-election in November. Cuellar’s position has proven fairly secure in the past, he received more votes in the March 5 primary than all of the Republican candidates in his district combined.

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