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FBI raid on Rep. Henry Cuellar's Texas home, office said to be tied to Azerbaijan

Investigators were also looking at a group of U.S. businessmen with connections to the former Soviet republic, an official said.
Image: Henry Cuellar
Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, speaks at a news conference on Capitol Hill on July 30.Lenin Nolly / NurPhoto via AP file

Rep. Henry Cuellar’s home and campaign office in Texas were raided as part of a federal investigation into the country of Azerbaijan and a group of U.S. businessmen who have ties to the country, a senior law enforcement official said Thursday.

The development was first reported by ABC News.

Witnesses said federal agents were seen carrying items out of Cuellar’s home in Laredo on Wednesday, while more agents were spotted outside his campaign office.

While it did not specifically refer to Cuellar by name or offer details about the investigation, the FBI acknowledged the search Wednesday night.

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

As the FBI executed the search warrant Wednesday, Cuellar’s office released a statement saying: “Congressman Cuellar will fully cooperate in any investigation. He is committed to ensuring that justice and the law are upheld.”

His office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday night.

The same senior law enforcement official confirmed a grand jury investigation but could not provide any details of the exact focus of the grand jury or when and where it is meeting.

It is unclear whether Cuellar is a target of the grand jury or whether he is being investigated for allegations of criminal wrongdoing.

Cuellar, 66, a lawyer, is a former customs broker and Texas secretary of state.

Cuellar, who was first elected to the House in 2004, sits on the powerful Appropriations Committee and was recently a co-chair of the Congressional Azerbaijan Caucus.