U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar’s Texas home and campaign office were raided as part of a federal investigation into the former Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan and a group of U.S. businessmen that have ties to that nation, 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 Laredo, Texas, home yesterday while more agents were spotted outside his campaign office.
While not specifically referring to the Democratic congressman by name or offering 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,” according to a statement released by FBI spokesperson Rosanne Hughes. “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.”
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His office did not immediately return a request for comment Thursday night.
The same senior law enforcement official confirmed a grand jury investigation, but could not provide any details on the exact focus of the grand jury or when and where it is meeting.
It’s unclear if Cuellar is a target of the grand jury or if he’s being investigated for criminal wrongdoing.
Cuellar, 66, is a former lawyer, customs broker and Texas Secretary of State.
First elected to the House of Representatives in 2004, he sits on the powerful Appropriations Committee and recently served as the co-chair of the Congressional Azerbaijan Caucus.