Cuellar plans to run for reelection despite looming indictment

Democrat Rep. Henry Cuellar said Friday that he will run for reelection for his Texas seat despite a looming indictment from the Department of Justice.

He declared his and his wife’s innocence in a statement after reports emerged of his indictment. His wife Imelda is also expected to be indicted, according to a person familiar with the situation.

“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, adding that he’d sought legal advice from the House Ethics panel.

“Imelda and I have been married for 32 years. On top of being an amazing wife and mother, she’s an accomplished businesswoman with two degrees. She spent her career working with banking, tax, and consulting. The allegation that she is anything but qualified and hard working is both wrong and offensive,” he said.

Cuellar did not specify what charges he and his wife face in the statement he issued shortly after POLITICO confirmed that he and his wife would be indicted Friday. NBC News first reported the expected charges.

Just over two years ago, the FBI conducted a “court-authorized” search of the Texas Democrat’s Laredo home, as well as a second building housing his campaign office. It’s unclear if the coming indictment is related to those raids. Cuellar’s lawyer Joshua Berman has said that the moderate Democrat was not the target of the investigation by the DOJ.

The search reportedly came as part of a federal investigation into US businessmen who have ties to the country of Azerbaijan.

Cuellar has served in Congress since 2005. He is running for reelection and has been endorsed by Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Minority Whip Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) and Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.). Cuellar’s incoming indictment will likely become a major political problem for Democrats, who hope to regain the majority in the House in November. House Democratic leadership has not yet commented on the endorsement.

He beat tough primary challenges in 2022 and 2020 from Jessica Cisneros, who didn’t run again this cycle. The primary date in Texas for this cycle has already passed.