May 18, 2024
 
  • by:
  • Source: FreePressers
  • 05/14/2024
FPI / May 7, 2024

The Department of Justice announced on Friday the indictment of Texas Democrat Rep. Henry Cuellar and his wife, Imelda Cuellar, on charges related to their participation in two schemes involving bribery, unlawful foreign influence, and money laundering.

According to court documents, beginning in at least December 2014 and continuing through at least November 2021, Cuellar and his wife allegedly accepted approximately $600,000 in bribes from two foreign entities: An oil and gas company wholly owned and controlled by the Government of Azerbaijan, and a bank headquartered in Mexico City.

Charges included violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). The indictment stated: "Public officials, including Henry Cuellar and all Members of Congress, have a lawful and official duty not to be or act as an agent of a foreign principal required to register under FARA."

The Marco Polo investigative group, which compiled and published a database of the Hunter Biden laptop, noted that DOJ official Jennifer Kennedy Gellie, who signed off on the FARA charges against Cuellar, "refused" to prosecute alleged violations of FARA by the Biden family, as noted by WorldTribune.com in Part 1 of its series, For the Record.

Related: For the Record: Excerpts from the Report on the Biden Laptop

The DOJ said in a press release announcing the indictment: "The bribe payments were allegedly laundered, pursuant to sham consulting contracts, through a series of front companies and middlemen into shell companies owned by Imelda Cuellar, who performed little to no legitimate work under the contracts. In exchange for the bribes paid by the Azerbaijani oil and gas company, Congressman Cuellar allegedly agreed to use his office to influence U.S. foreign policy in favor of Azerbaijan. In exchange for the bribes paid by the Mexican bank, Congressman Cuellar allegedly agreed to influence legislative activity and to advise and pressure high-ranking U.S. Executive Branch officials regarding measures beneficial to the bank."

If convicted, the Cuellars face maximum penalties as indicated: two counts of conspiracy to commit bribery of a federal official and to have a public official act as an agent of a foreign principal, five years in prison on each count; two counts of bribery of a federal official, 15 years in prison on each count; two counts of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud, 20 years in prison on each count; two counts of violating the ban on public officials acting as agents of a foreign principal, two years in prison on each count; one count of conspiracy to commit concealment money laundering, 20 years in prison; and five counts of money laundering, 20 years in prison on each count.

Part of the indictment was for violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), which is a federal registration and disclosure statute that requires any person who agrees to act or acts in the United States as an “agent of a foreign principal” to register with the United States Attorney General if he or she agrees to engage or engages, directly or through another person, in certain types of conduct, such as political activities, political consulting, public relations, or publicity activities, for or in the interest of the foreign principal.

"Public officials, including Henry Cuellar and all Members of Congress, have a lawful and official duty not to be or act as an agent of a foreign principal required to register under FARA," the DOJ's indictment said. "At all times relevant to this Indictment, the House Ethics Manual, which was publicly available, stated, among other things, '[r]egardless of compensation, a public official may not act as an agent or attorney for . . . a foreign principal required to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, as amended, that is, generally, those individuals engaged in lobbying, political, or propaganda activities,' citing Title 18, United States Code, Section 219.

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