UNITED STATES NEWS

House Ethics Committee will investigate Rep. Henry Cuellar after his federal indictment

May 29, 2024, 12:10 PM | Updated: 12:38 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Ethics Committee is opening an investigation into Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, after his indictment earlier this month on allegations of bribery, money laundering and working on behalf of a foreign government.

The committee said Wednesday that it voted unanimously to take the rare step of pursuing an investigation into Cuellar, 68, while he and his wife remain under investigation by the Department of Justice over the couple’s ties to the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan.

“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,” said the chair, Rep. Michael Guest, R-Miss., and ranking member, Rep. Susan Wild, D-Pa., said in a statement.

Cuellar, in a statement to The Associated Press, said he respects the committee’s work. He said he is “innocent of these allegations, and everything I have done in Congress has been to serve the people of South Texas.”

House and committee rules require that within 30 days of a member being indicted or formally charged, the committee shall either establish an investigative subcommittee to look into the allegations or publicly report its reasons for not doing so.

Guest and Rep. Glenn Ivy, D-Md., will lead the review of Cuellar. The committee cautioned in its statement that opening an investigation does not mean that the lawmaker has violated House rules.

Culler is the third lawmaker to face a federal indictment since the current congressional session began in January. He has said that he and his wife, Imelda Cuellar, 67, “are innocent of these allegations.”

In a statement in early May, Cuellar said that before he took 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 indictment against the couple states that from 2014 to 2021, they accepted nearly $600,000 in bribes from an Azerbaijan-controlled energy company and a bank in Mexico, and in exchange, Cuellar agreed to advance the interests of the country and the bank in the United States.

Among other things, Cuellar agreed to influence legislation favorable to Azerbaijan and deliver a pro-Azerbaijan speech on the floor of the House, according to the indictment.

In addition to bribery and conspiracy, Cuellar and his wife face charges including wire fraud conspiracy, acting as agents of foreign principals and money laundering. If convicted, they face up to decades in prison and forfeiture of any property linked to proceeds from the alleged scheme.

United States News

Associated Press

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange will plead guilty in deal with US and return to Australia

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wikileaks founder Julian Assange will plead guilty to a felony charge in a deal with the U.S. Justice Department that will resolve a long-running legal saga that spanned multiple continents and centered on the publication of a trove of classified documents, according to court papers filed late Monday. Assange is scheduled to […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Sen. Bob Menendez’s Egypt trip planning got ‘weird,’ Senate staffer recalls at bribery trial

NEW YORK (AP) — A Senate staffer testified at a bribery trial that planning for Sen. Bob Menendez’s 2021 trip to Egypt and Qatar got “weird” after the Democrat directed that Egypt be included in the process, a Senate staffer testified Monday. Sarah Arkin, a senior staffer with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, testified as […]

3 hours ago

...

KTAR Video

Video: A preview of Arizona Congressional District 8 Republican Debate

Arizona Congressional District 8 Republican Debate is scheduled for Tuesday, June 25, but Chris Merrill and guest host Barry Markson consider the candidates running in that district.

3 hours ago

...

KTAR Video

Video: A look at the state of Arizona politics amid primary debates

As the Arizona primary election debates continue, Chris Merrill and guest host Barry Markson take a closer look at the current state of politics in the 48th state. Video: Jeremy Schnell and Felisa Cárdenas/KTAR News

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Wisconsin taxpayers to pay half the cost of redistricting consultants hired by Supreme Court

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin taxpayers will pay half of the $128,000 bill submitted by redistricting consultants hired by the state’s Supreme Court for the work they did reviewing proposed legislative maps, the liberal majority of the court ordered Monday. Conservative justices dissented, sharply criticizing the majority for hiring the consultants and not divulging more […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Judge sets $10 million bond for Venezuelan man accused of killing a 12-year-old Houston girl

HOUSTON (AP) — A judge in Texas set bond of $10 million Monday for an undocumented Venezuelan man accused of killing a 12-year-old Houston girl whose body was found in a creek after she disappeared during a walk to a convenience store. Franklin Jose Peña Ramos, 26, is one of two men charged with capital […]

4 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

House Ethics Committee will investigate Rep. Henry Cuellar after his federal indictment