May 20, 2024

Indicted congressman spent campaign cash on legal fees

U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) has spent more than half of his campaign cash on legal fees. 

This is according to a new report from the Daily Caller, which has reviewed Cuellar's financial records.

The report comes as Cuellar has been indicted by the U.S. government on bribery charges involving the Azerbaijani government. There will be more on this in a moment.

But, first, we'll look at the Daily Caller's report.

Over $750,000

This is how much that Cuellar has spent on law firms during the 2024 election cycle. This accounts for more than half of the congressman's total expenditures.

The Daily Caller reports:

Democratic Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar spent more than $750,000 on payments to various law firms during the 2024 election cycle as authorities investigated him for accepting foreign bribes, constituting roughly half of the $1.6 million total the congressman spent during that period, Federal Election Commission (FEC) records show.

It appears as though the legal fees were in regard to the charges that have been brought against him. Open Secrets reports that "the payments represent a shift from previous cycles when Cuellar spent donor money mostly on media and other more typical campaign expenses."

The outlet goes on to detail where exactly the money went, detailing how much each law firm received from Cueller.

The outlet reports, "The bulk of the legal fees paid with Cuellar’s campaign funds went to Clifford Chance LLP, a British multinational law firm representing the congressman in the federal investigation. Cuellar’s campaign has paid the law firm about $690,000 since the start of the 2024 election cycle."

Cuellar's indictment

It is not just Cuellar but his wife has also been indicted on bribery charges.

"Prosecutors say that Henry and Imelda Cuellar crafted two yearslong schemes to get bribes from foreign entities – an oil and gas company 'wholly owned and controlled by the Government of Azerbaijan, and a bank headquartered in Mexico City,'" CNN reports.

The outlet continues, "In exchange for bribe payments from the Azerbaijan oil company, Cuellar 'agreed to perform official acts in his capacity as a Member of Congress, to commit acts in violation of his official duties, and to act as an agent of the Government of Azerbaijan' and the bank, the indictment says."

Both have denied any wrongdoing.

"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. The actions I took in Congress were consistent with the actions of many of my colleagues and in the interest of the American people," Cuellar has claimed.

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