Henry Cuellar’s Corruption Trial Delayed Until After Election

Politician's court trial postponed.

Henry Cuellar’s Corruption Trial Delayed Until After Election

San Antonio, Texas— US Representative Henry Cuellar’s corruption trial has been postponed until after the next election. The Laredo Democrat was indicted on bribery, money laundering, and illegal foreign representation charges last month. Originally expected to commence in July of this year, the trial will now begin in spring 2025. An interim pretrial conference is slated for December.

Request for Postponement Granted

Both federal prosecutors and Cuellar’s defense team petitioned to delay the trial. This request was approved by Judge Lee Rosenthal, a veteran judge appointed by President George H.W. Bush. The proceedings will be held at the federal court located in Houston, Texas. Jury selection is scheduled to start March 31, 2025.

Laundering of Bribes Alleged

Federal prosecutors claim Cuellar laundered bribes from the government of Azerbaijan and a Mexican bank. In return, the Congressman is accused of pushing legislation supported by both these entities. Allegedly, this legislation pertains to Azerbaijan’s land dispute with neighboring Armenia.

Assertion of Innocence

Representative Cuellar vehemently denies these allegations. He argues that his actions are in line with the behavior of other Congress members. Despite his indictment, Cuellar plans to run again for office during this year’s elections.

Political Background

Representing Texas’ 28th Congressional District since 2005, Cuellar managed to keep his seat in the previous election cycle. This followed a fierce competition which saw Republicans injecting millions into an attempt to oust him. At the same time, he faced a fight from progressive challenger, immigration attorney Jessica Cisneros. Cuellar emerged victorious over his adversaries in 2022, earning a decisive victory over Republican candidate Cassy Garcia with a margin exceeding 13 points.

Change in Political Climate

National Republicans refrained from a direct challenge against Cuellar this year, concentrating instead on more competitive South Texas races. However, after the indictment was handed down, independent election analyzers deemed the race more volatile. The National Republican Congressional Committee enrolled Cuellar in its list of targets following the May Republican primary runoff, which produced Jay Furman, a former Navy commander, as a strong candidate.

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