Texas Democrat declares innocence ahead of expected indictment

Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) addressed an expected indictment following reports the Justice Department is preparing charges against him, saying he is “innocent of these allegations” and still plans to seek reelection.

The Justice Department searched Cuellar’s home in January 2022 as part of an investigation into Azerbaijan.

Cuellar, a co-chair of the Congressional Azerbaijan Caucus, said at the time he was not the target of the investigation.

In his Friday statement, Cuellar did not address any specific pending charges but suggested he sought out legal advice on what would appear to be the subject of the allegations and also references his wife’s professional background.

“Before I took any action, I proactively sought legal advice from the House Ethics Committee, who gave me more than one written opinion, along with an additional opinion from a national law firm. The actions I took in Congress were consistent with the actions of many of my colleagues and in the interest of the American people,” Cuellar wrote in a statement issued through his campaign.

“Imelda and I have been married for 32 years. On top of being an amazing wife and mother, she’s an accomplished businesswoman with two degrees. She spent her career working with banking, tax, and consulting. The allegation that she is anything but qualified and hard working is both wrong and offensive.”

NBC News first reported the coming indictment.

Cuellar also said he tried to meet with prosecutors “to explain the facts and they refused to discuss the case with us or to hear our side.”

The Hill has reached out to the Justice Department for comment.

Cuellar, a moderate Democrat from a district along the U.S.-Mexico border, narrowly defeated primary challenger Jessica Cisneros.

“Let me be clear, I’m running for re-election and will win this November,” Cuellar said.


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