Henry Cuellar


FBI Searches Home, Offices Of Rep. Henry Cuellar

On Wednesday evening, Federal Bureau of Investigation officials were at the home of Rep. Henry Cuellar (TX-28) in Laredo.

According to the statement released by the FBI, they were "conducting court-authorized law enforcement activity" at the home of the congressman.

“The FBI was present in the vicinity of Windridge Drive and Estate Drive in Laredo conducting court-authorized law enforcement activity,” said Rosanne Hughes, a public affairs officer out of the FBI’s San Antonio Division. “The FBI cannot provide further comment on an ongoing investigation.”

The Monitor’s Valerie Gonzalez was outside of Cuellar’s residence as agents were at the residence.

LMT later confirmed the news with the FBI.

Prior to the confirmation, citizen journalist Priscilla “La Gordiloca” Trevino was also transmitting a live video from the downtown offices of Cuellar, located at 1519 Washington St.

She stated in a live video that the FBI was present at the offices of the congressman, as she received a tip from someone who happened to be walking by.

The downtown building is also home to other various local lawyers and businesses renting the building for their services, according to a Google search of the building.

The congressman did not respond to any questions throughout the day concerning the situation, but his office did provide a statement.

His campaign office also did not issue anything regarding the matter.

The statement released by Cuellar’s office read: “Congressman Cuellar will fully cooperate in any investigation. He is committed to ensuring that justice and the law are upheld.”

The home of Cuellar that was being searched by the FBI is located in a gated community in the City of Laredo.

Texas' 28th congressional district of the United States House of Representatives covers a strip in deep South Texas starting in the eastern outskirts of San Antonio, and ending at the U.S.-Mexico border. Towns entirely or partially within this district include Converse, Laredo, Rio Grande City and Universal City.

Cuellar, an eight-term incumbent, is running for office once again this year. The Democratic primary will be held March 1. The general election will be Nov. 8.

This is a developing story.



FBI Confirm Search Near Texas Home Of U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar

LAREDO, Texas (AP) — FBI agents searched near the Texas home of U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar on Wednesday as they conducted what an agency spokeswoman called “court-authorized law enforcement activity.”

The motive and scope of the search was not immediately known. But a reporter for The Monitor of McAllen, Texas, which first reported the operation, reported from the scene that more than a dozen federal agents were seen passing in and out of Cuellar’s home bearing cases and other items.

“The FBI was present in the vicinity of Windridge Drive and Estate Drive in Laredo conducting court-authorized law enforcement activity,” spokeswoman Rosanne Hughes said. “The FBI cannot provide further comment on an ongoing investigation.”

Cuellar’s office issued a brief statement that did not directly address the location or nature of the search.

“Congressman Cuellar will fully cooperate in any investigation. He is committed to ensuring that justice and the law are upheld,” the statement read.

The statement, like the FBI, shed no light on what agents were seeking.

Since 2004, Cuellar has represented a district that extends from the U.S. Border with Mexico near McAllen to Laredo, and north to San Antonio’s eastern outskirts. The moderate Democrat has a seat on the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

FBI Shows Up At Rep. Henry Cuellar's Texas Home

To the extent that Rep. Henry Cuellar is known to national audiences, the Texas Democrat is probably known for being a frequent thorn in his party's side.

In the first year of Donald Trump's presidency, for example, Cuellar voted with the Republican White House's position nearly 70 percent of the time — making the Texan one of the most Trump-friendly Democrats in Congress.

By 2020, much of the left, eager to see the congressman replaced, rallied behind Jessica Cisneros' primary campaign against Cuellar, which nearly worked: The incumbent prevailed by only three points, in one of the year's most competitive intra-party contests.

Now, however, it appears Cuellar might be known for something entirely different. The Texas Tribune reported overnight:

The FBI was on the scene Wednesday near the Laredo home of U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar for what authorities described as a court-authorized ongoing investigation. FBI spokesperson Rosanne Hughes ... Said in a statement that the FBI was present on two streets around Cuellar's house in Laredo "conducting court-authorized law enforcement activity."

The local reporting added that agents were seen "taking cases and other items from the congressman's home," and the FBI was also present "at a downtown building owned by Cuellar that reportedly houses his campaign office as well as other private businesses."

At this point, I haven't seen any reporting that the congressman is facing any charges, but I think it's also fair to say that when the FBI shows up at a politician's house to conduct a "court-authorized law enforcement activity," it's not a good sign.

As the developments started to unfold yesterday afternoon, Cuellar said in a written statement that he will "fully cooperate in any investigation," adding that he's "committed to ensuring that justice and the law are upheld."

Time will tell what, if anything, comes of this story, but let's note for context that over the last five years, only three sitting members of Congress faced federal criminal charges: In August 2018, Republican Rep. Chris Collins of New York was arrested for alleged insider trading, and soon after, Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter of California was accused by federal prosecutors of having stolen more than a quarter million dollars from his campaign coffers.

Both initially claimed they were victims of political persecution; both later resigned in disgrace; both were sentenced to prison; and both received pardons from Donald Trump.

This year, Republican Rep. Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska is also facing felony charges, though yesterday's events in Texas suggest he may yet have some company.

Postscript: In advance of the 2018 midterms, Donald Trump complained bitterly about federal law enforcement charging two of his congressional allies, and whined about the Justice Department undermining the then-president's election plans.

I have a hunch President Joe Biden, in contrast, will take a hands-off approach to the Cuellar matter.

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