FBI shows up at Rep. Henry Cuellar’s Texas home

To the extent Rep. Henry Cuellar is known to the national public, the Texas Democrat is likely known to be a frequent thorn in his party’s side.

In the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency, for example, Cuellar voted with the position of the Republican White House. nearly 70 percent of the time — making the Texan one of the most pro-Trump Democrats in Congress.

In 2020, much of the left, eager to see the congressman replaced, rallied behind Jessica Cisneros’ primary campaign against Cuellar, which nearly worked: the incumbent won only three points, in one of the most competitive intra-party contests of the year.

Now, however, it looks like Cuellar might be known for something completely different. The Texas Grandstand reported overnight:

The FBI was at the scene Wednesday near the Laredo home of U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar for what authorities described as an ongoing court-authorized investigation. FBI spokeswoman Rosanne Hughes … said in a statement that the FBI was present on two streets around Cuellar’s Laredo home “conducting court-authorized law enforcement activities.”

The local report added that officers have been seen “take belongings and other items from the Congressman’s home”, and the FBI was also present “in a downtown building owned by Cuellar that would house his campaign office as well as other private businesses.”

At this point, I haven’t seen any reports that the congressman is facing charges, but I think it’s also fair to say that when the FBI shows up at a politician’s house to conduct ” law enforcement authorized by the court”, is not a good sign.

As developments began to unfold yesterday afternoon, Cuellar said in a written statement that he “will cooperate fully with any investigation”, adding that he is “committed to ensuring that justice and the law are upheld”.

Time will tell what, if anything, becomes of this story, but note for context that in the past five years only three sitting members of Congress have faced federal criminal charges: in August 2018, Republican Rep. Chris Collins of New York was arrested. for alleged insider trading, and soon after, Republican Representative Duncan Hunter of California was charged by federal prosecutors with stealing more than a quarter of a million dollars from his campaign coffers.

Both initially claimed to have been victims of political persecution; both later resigned in disgrace; both were sentenced to prison; and both were pardoned by Donald Trump.

This year, Republican Rep. Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska also faces felony charges, although yesterday’s events in Texas suggest he may still have some company.

Post Scriptum: Ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, Donald Trump bitterly complained that federal law enforcement was blaming two of his congressional allies and complained that the Justice Department was undermining the president’s election plans of the time.

I have a hunch that President Joe Biden, on the other hand, will take a hands-off approach to the Cuellar case.

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