Democrat Congressman Indicted By DOJ

OPINION:  This article contains commentary which may reflect the author’s opinion

NBC News reports that a Democratic congressman from Texas has been charged by the Justice Department.

Representative Henry Cuellar (D-TX), who has been a member of Congress since 2005, allegedly received an indictment on Friday, around two years after federal agents raided his official and campaign offices in order to look into possible connections to American businesspeople who had ties to Azerbaijan. He and his spouse are accused of accepting $600,000 in bribes from the nation in return for performing official duties as members of Congress. Cuellar’s attorney, Joshua Berman, stated at the time that his client was not the focus of the government’s inquiry. Co-chairing the Congressional Azerbaijan Caucus is the Democrat.

The congressman’s staff was overheard phoning other Washington offices on Friday morning to inquire about how to handle the problem, according to further sources.

Rep. Cuellar stated to the Texas Tribune a year following the raid in January 2022, “There has been no misconduct on my part. Since my first day of work, my goal has remained the same: providing results for Texans in my district. Behind him was former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who was in charge of House Democrats’ midterm election campaign. Pelosi declared, “I support my incumbents,” when in Austin in March 2022. “I stand behind all of them, regardless of party. That’s what I do. Cuellar fought off a Republican opponent in the general election and just missed losing to a more radical opponent in the primary.

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After redistricting, Cuellar now represents portions of San Antonio and is in a more blue-colored district; nevertheless, this year’s elections could make him more vulnerable. In an attempt to confront him in November, he has two Republican opponents who will square off in May. The 66-year-old attorney formerly served as Texas’ secretary of state and as a customs broker. Since his initial election victory in 2004, he has been a member of the moderate Blue Dog Democrat caucus.

Not good news for a party beset by an unpopular president and progressive agitation across the nation is the indictment of a second Democrat. Cuellar is the second Democratic incumbent to be charged. U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) was accused by federal authorities in September of using his position on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to influence companies to support political associates. Gold bars and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash stashed away in hiding spots were discovered during a raid on his home, leading Menendez to assert that his upbringing in communist Cuba was the reason he always carried getaway assets.

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