Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar expected to be indicted, source says

Washington — Federal prosecutors are expected to announce an indictment against Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas on Friday, a U.S. official confirmed to CBS News. 

Details of the indictment, including how many charges Cueller faces and the nature of the allegations, were not immediately available. NBC News first reported the anticipated indictment. 

Cuellar indicated in a statement that he and his wife were charged, and he said they are innocent of the accusations. The congressman said he will continue to seek reelection to the House in November.

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

The congressman said in his statement that he had sought legal advice from the House Ethics Committee before taking any action — though it was not clear from the statement what actions he is referring to. The committee provided a written opinion, as well as a second one from a national law firm, he said. Cuellar and his wife also requested a meeting with prosecutors in Washington, D.C., “to explain the facts,” he said, but they declined to discuss the case with them.

The FBI conducted a “court-authorized” search of the congressman’s home in Laredo and campaign office in January 2022, though Cuellar’s lawyer told CBS News at the time that the congressman was not the target of a federal investigation. A source familiar with the probe said then that the activity at Cuellar’s house was part of an investigation related to Azerbaijan and several U.S. businessmen.

The congressman’s office said at the time that he was cooperating fully with the investigation, and Cuellar denied wrongdoing. It was not immediately clear whether the indictment stemmed from the search.

Cuellar was elected to the House in 2005 and represents the 28th Congressional District. His district stretches from San Antonio south to the U.S.-Mexico border. Considered a moderate Democrat, Cuellar faced a tough primary challenge from immigration attorney Jessica Cisneros, his former intern, during the 2022 election cycle, but narrowly defeated her in a runoff election.

Cuellar, who is Catholic, is the only remaining self-identified “pro-life” Democrat in the House, as abortion rights dominate the Democratic Party.

Cuellar was in the news in October 2023 when he said he was carjacked by three armed assailants while returning to his home in the Navy Yard neighborhood of Washington, D.C. 

Andres Triay contributed to this report.

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