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Who is Rep. Henry Cuellar, the Texas Democrat indicted by the Justice Department?

The Justice Department launched an indictment towards Texas Democrat Rep. Henry Cuellar on felony fees, a number of media shops reported on Friday.

Here is what we all know.

Who is Henry Cuellar?

Cuellar is serving his tenth time period in the U.S. House of Representatives for Texas’ twenty eighth congressional district, which incorporates the cities of Laredo, Rio Grande City, and San Antonio.

According to a biography, Cuellar was born in Laredo, Texas, the place he earned his affiliate diploma from Laredo Community College earlier than enrolling at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He later earned a number of postgraduate levels in Texas earlier than he started training legislation in 1981. He additionally served as a Texas State Representative and Texas Secretary of State earlier than changing into a U.S. Congressman.

He and his spouse, Imelda, and two daughters live in Laredo.

What is Rep. Cuellar being investigated for?

NBC News was the first to report about the expected indictment, stating that Cuellar and his spouse are being charged with bribery and cash laundering in connection to an Azerbaijani oil and gasoline firm.

NBC News reported that “The Cuellars allegedly accepted roughly $600,000 in bribes from the two foreign entities in exchange for the congressman performing official acts.”

The FBI executed a search warrant at Cuellar’s home and campaign office in 2022 nevertheless it is unclear if any potential federal fees are associated to the raid. Cuellar serves as a co-chair of the Congressional Azerbaijan Caucus.

His lawyer Joshua Berman stated in April that he was knowledgeable by the feds that Cuellar was not the focus of the investigation.

What did Rep. Cuellar say about the indictment?

“I want to be clear that both my wife and I are innocent of these allegations,” Cuellar stated in a press release to USA TODAY, indicating his spouse Imelda, is additionally concerned.

“Proactively sought authorized recommendation from the House Ethics Committee, who gave me multiple written opinion, together with an extra opinion from a nationwide legislation agency,” he said. “Furthermore, we requested a gathering with the Washington D.C. prosecutors to clarify the details and so they refused to debate the case with us or to listen to our aspect.”

The National Republican Congressional Committee, the campaign arm of House Republicans, swiftly responded to reports of an imminent criminal indictment and urged House Democrats to call on their colleague to resign.

“Henry Cuellar does not put Texas first, he puts himself first,” Delanie Bomar, a spokesperson for the NRCC said in a statement. “If his colleagues truly believe in putting ‘people over politics,’ they will call on him to resign. If not – they are hypocrites whose statements about public service aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.”

— USA TODAY reporter Ken Tran contributed to this report.

This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Who is Rep. Henry Cuellar, the Texas Democrat indicted by DOJ?

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