House Ethics committee launches investigation into indicted Texas Democrat Henry Cuellar

The indictment alleges that from 2014-2021, Cuellar and his wife accepted nearly $600,000 in exchange for advancing the interests of the Middle Eastern country Azerbaijan.

Published: May 29, 2024 10:20pm

The House Ethics Committee launched an investigation on Wednesday into Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar, who has been indicted on federal bribery charges that stem from alleged payments from foreign officials.

Cuellar and his wife Imelda were indicted by the Justice Department on April 30, but the charges were unveiled May 3, in connection with a federal probe into ties between United States business leaders and the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan. Cuellar has denied any wrongdoing, but said he "respects the work of the Ethics committee," per NBC News.

The indictment alleges that from 2014-2021, Cuellar and his wife accepted nearly $600,000 in exchange for advancing the interests of the country.

“I respect the work of the House Ethics Committee," Cuellar said in a statement. "As I said on May 3rd, I am innocent of these allegations, and everything I have done in Congress has been to serve the people of South Texas.”

The indictment has made Cuellar, a Democrat, more vulnerable in his reelection campaign this November. Cuellar will face Navy veteran Jay Furman, who won his Republican primary on Tuesday night.

The committee announced that Mississippi Rep. Michael Guest will serve as Chair of the Investigative Subcommittee, and Democratic Maryland Rep. Glenn Ivey will serve as the Ranking Member. Reps. Madeleine Dean and Ben Cline will also serve on the subcommittee leading the investigation.

"The Committee is aware of the risks associated with dual investigations and is in communication with the Department of Justice to mitigate the potential risks while still meeting the Committee’s obligations to safeguard the integrity of the House," the committee's statement said. "No other public comment will be made on this matter except in accordance with Committee rules."

The House Ethics committee is required to announce an investigation into alleged ethics violations within 30 days of charges being filed, or explain why it decided not to.   

Misty Severi is an evening news reporter for Just the News. You can follow her on X for more coverage.

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