Cuellar Becomes Second Democrat Lawmaker Charged With Bribery This Year

Cuellar Becomes Second Democrat Lawmaker Charged With Bribery This Year

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
May 5, 2024

US Representative Henry Cuellar (R-TX) was recently charged with bribery by the Department of Justice (DOJ), making him the second congressional Democrat to be charged with bribery during the 2023-2024 congressional term. 

US Senator Robert Menendez  (D-NJ) was similarly charged with bribery earlier this year.

Cuellar and his wife were accused of accepting approximately $600,000 from an Azerbaijani oil and gas company and a Mexican bank. 

The DOJ alleges the Cuellars laundered the payments and agreed to use their government positions to further their bribers’ interests. 

If found guilty, the Cuellars could spend up to 75 years behind bars.

Senator Menendez was accused of accepting nearly $500,000 in cash, a luxury vehicle, home furnishings, and gold bars from the Egyptian government.

Menendez could spend up to 45 years in prison if found guilty.

Despite his indictment, The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres reported that Menendez declared he would not resign from his post. 

"I will continue to cast votes on behalf of the people of New Jersey as I have for 18 years. And I am sure when they need those votes, they’ll be looking for it, for me to catch those votes," said Sen. Menendez.

Cuellar rejected the accusations against him.

“I want to be clear that both my wife and I are innocent of these allegations,” said Cuellar. “Everything I have done in Congress has been to serve the people of South Texas.”

Cuellar was first investigated by Federal officials in 2022, when the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) raided his home in search for potential evidence of collusion with the Azerbaijan government. 

Since then, Cuellar has claimed to be fully cooperating with subsequent investigations while maintaining his innocence. 

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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