House Ethics Committee Adds Insult to Injury for Indicted Democratic Congressman


Embattled Texas Democrat Henry Cuellar just found out that he’s about to become even more embattled than he already was.

On Wednesday, the House Ethics Committee announced an additional investigation into the border-district Democrat after news of a federal indictment against him for accepting bribes.

Even worse for the 10-term representative was the news that the committee had voted unanimously to form an investigative subcommittee, meaning that the five Democrats on the committee presumably voted in favor of the investigation along with the five Republicans, led by committee chair Michael Guest of Mississippi.

That would include his fellow Texas Democrat, Rep. Veronica Escobar.

Cuellar and his wife, Imelda, stand accused by the Biden Justice Department of having accepted bribes amounting to $598,000 from “foreign entities, including a Mexican bank and an oil and gas company controlled by Azerbaijan,” according to NBC News.

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Whenever a House member is charged with a crime, House rules require that the Ethics Committee create an investigative subcommittee to look into the matter, or explain to the House within 30 days of the charges being filed why it would not investigate.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the Ethics Committee said it was “aware of the risks associated with dual investigations” and would work with the DOJ to “mitigate the potential risks.”

The subcommittee, which will be chaired by Guest, is charged with looking into whether Cuellar “solicited or accepted bribes, gratuities, or improper gifts; acted as a foreign agent; violated federal money laundering laws; misused his official position for private gain; and/or made false statements or omissions on public disclosure statements filed with the House,” according to the statement.

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Cuellar has, for his part, repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, and he did so again Wednesday, according to NBC.

“I respect the work of the House Ethics Committee,” Cuellar said in a statement cited by the outlet.

“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,” he claimed.

The DOJ indictment against Cuellar appears in full below for interested readers.

Cuellar Indictment by The Western Journal on Scribd

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The short statement from the House Ethics Committee appears in its entirety below.

Pursuant to Committee Rule 7, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ethics (Committee) determined to release the following statement: 

On April 30, 2024, criminal charges against Representative Henry Cuellar were filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.  Pursuant to Committee Rule 18(e)(2) and House Rule XI, clause 3(b)(9), within 30 days of a Member being indicted or otherwise formally charged with criminal conduct, the Committee shall either establish an Investigative Subcommittee or report to the House describing its reasons for not establishing an Investigative Subcommittee.

In accordance with House Rule XI, clause 3, and Committee Rules 10(a)(2) and 18(e), the Committee unanimously voted to establish an Investigative Subcommittee.  Pursuant to the Committee’s action, the Investigative Subcommittee shall have jurisdiction to determine whether Representative Cuellar solicited or accepted bribes, gratuities, or improper gifts; acted as a foreign agent; violated federal money laundering laws; misused his official position for private gain; and/or made false statements or omissions on public disclosure statements filed with the House.

The Honorable Michael Guest will serve as Chair of the Investigative Subcommittee, and the Honorable Glenn Ivey will serve as the Ranking Member.  The other two members of the Investigative Subcommittee are the Honorable Ben Cline and the Honorable Madeleine Dean. 

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.  No other public comment will be made on this matter except in accordance with Committee rules.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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