Center for American Progress

STATEMENT: CAP’s Patrick Gaspard Calls for Rep. Cuellar To Resign
Press Statement

STATEMENT: CAP’s Patrick Gaspard Calls for Rep. Cuellar To Resign

Washington, D.C. — Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) is under federal indictment for allegedly taking nearly $600,000 in bribes from a Mexican bank and an oil company controlled by the Azerbaijani government. The U.S. Department of Justice alleges that in exchange for the bribes, Cuellar agreed to use his position as a member of Congress—and his committee assignments—to influence U.S. policy in favor of the bank and Azerbaijan. In response, Patrick Gaspard, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

The appalling charges of bribery and corruption filed against Rep. Cuellar represent a staggering betrayal of public trust. While the congressman is entitled to due process and a fair trial, these allegations of manipulating U.S. policies on behalf of a foreign entity raise serious national security concerns and undermine the very foundation of our democracy. No one who reveres public service should be silent in the face of allegations this serious.

Rep. Cuellar cannot credibly remain in office under the cloud of these charges. He will not be able meet his obligations to his constituents or his colleagues in Congress. He must face these charges as a private citizen—not as a voice for the people.

This indictment is a credit to the political independence of the Justice Department. Corruption in office cannot be tolerated by any elected official, regardless of political party. To uphold respect for the rule of law and maintain the integrity of Congress, Cuellar must resign immediately.

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at [email protected].

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