FBI searches Texas home of prominent Democrat Henry Cuellar

Raid reportedly part of Azerbaijan federal probe

Federal agents search the home of Henry Cuellar in Laredo, Texas. AP

An FBI search of the home and campaign office of Democratic congressman Henry Cuellar in Texas may have been related to a federal investigation into Azerbaijan and ties businessmen have to the former Soviet republic, US media reported on Thursday.

The Monitor in McAllen, Texas, which first reported on Wednesday's operation, said more than a dozen federal agents were seen passing in and out of Mr Cuellar’s home bearing cases and other items.

The FBI said it was in the vicinity “conducting court-authorised law enforcement activity”, spokeswoman Rosanne Hughes said, but added that “the FBI cannot provide further comment on an ongoing investigation".

Mr Cuellar’s office issued a brief statement that did not directly address the location or nature of the search.

“Congressman Cuellar will fully co-operate in any investigation. He is committed to ensuring that justice and the law are upheld,” the statement read.

ABC News said the raid was part of a federal investigation into Azerbaijan and the country's ties to US businessmen. CBS News and NBC News reported the same, citing law enforcement officials and people familiar with the probe.

CBS and ABC confirmed a federal grand jury in Washington is reviewing the case.

Since 2004, Mr Cuellar has represented a district that extends from the US border with Mexico near McAllen to Laredo, and north to San Antonio’s eastern outskirts. The moderate Democrat has a seat on the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

He has served as co-chairman of the Congressional Azerbaijan Caucus in recent years.

Agencies contributed to this report

FBI agents load boxes, bins, bags and a computer from the home of US Representative Henry Cuellar in Laredo, Texas on January 19, 2022.  AP
Updated: January 21, 2022, 6:45 PM