#ExpelCuellar: ANCA calls for expulsion of Rep. Cuellar from Congress

Democratic congressman Indicted for accepting $598,000 in Azerbaijani bribes

Henry Cuellar’s indictment “is just the tip of the iceberg” of yet undiscovered Azerbaijani bribery and corruption, explains ANCA’s Aram Hamparian.

WASHINGTON—The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) today called on the U.S. House to immediately expel Henry Cuellar (D-TX) over his indictment for accepting nearly six hundred thousand dollars in Azerbaijani bribes. The indictment, only recently unsealed, presents detailed accusations that Rep. Cuellar, who serves as co-chair of the Congressional Azerbaijan Caucus, accepted substantial payments from Azerbaijani state-controlled entities in return for advancing pro-Azerbaijan legislation.

“We call on the U.S. House to immediately vote to expel Henry Cuellar, condemn Azerbaijan’s brazen interference in our American democracy, and enact statutory measures to prevent ongoing attempts by Azerbaijan’s corrupt Aliyev family to rig U.S. foreign policy in its favor,” said Aram Hamparian, executive director of the ANCA. “We have, for more than a decade now, fought Henry Cuellar at the ballot box and battled his genocide-enabling legislation on Capitol Hill – always shining a national spotlight on this foreign breach of the American public trust. By all accounts, this is just the tip of the iceberg.”

According to the federal indictment, unsealed earlier today, Rep. Cuellar and his wife are accused of receiving over $598,000 from an Azerbaijani state-owned oil company and other foreign entities in exchange for advancing Azerbaijani interests within the U.S. Congress.

The indictment explicitly states, “With respect to Azerbaijan, in exchange for the bribe payments, Henry Cuellar promised to influence U.S. foreign policy in favor of Azerbaijan. Henry Cuellar agreed, among other things, to influence a series of legislative measures relating to Azerbaijan’s conflict with neighboring Armenia; to insert language favored by Azerbaijan into legislation and committee reports governing certain security and economic aid programs; to deliver a pro-Azerbaijan speech on the floor of the House of Representatives; and to consult with representatives of Azerbaijan regarding their efforts to lobby the United States government.”

In January 2013, Rep. Cuellar went on a trip to Turkey and Azerbaijan, facilitated by Azerbaijani connections, where he engaged with high-ranking Azerbaijani officials and business leaders. That trip, which was reported to cost close to $20,000, was covered by the Turquoise Council of Americans and Eurasians, chaired by Kemal Oksuz, who was subsequently convicted for concealing the fact that other trips to Azerbaijan, organized by his group later that year, were actually paid for by SOCAR, the government-funded oil company of Azerbaijan. Rep. Cuellar’s trip laid the groundwork for subsequent corrupt dealings highlighted in the charges.

The communication exchanges between Rep. Cuellar and Azerbaijani officials revealed in today’s indictment paint a stark picture of collusion. In response to an Azerbaijani diplomat’s request for assistance with U.S. legislation, Cuellar indicated readiness to help, stating he would “try [his] best” to influence legislative outcomes favorably for Azerbaijan. This included efforts to modify legislative language in ways that supported Azerbaijan’s geopolitical interests over Armenia’s.

On multiple occasions, Cuellar communicated directly with Azerbaijani officials to discuss strategies for overriding Armenian interests in Congress. In one email, an Azerbaijani diplomat expressed gratitude, stating, “Thank you, Congressman! This is good indeed,” acknowledging Cuellar’s efforts to steer U.S. policy in Azerbaijan’s favor. Azerbaijani diplomats reportedly referred to Rep. Cuellar as “el Jefe” or “Boss” in text messages.

The indictment further uncovers how Rep. Cuellar agreed to insert pro-Azerbaijan speeches into congressional records and to advance legislation that would undermine U.S. aid to Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh). In one email, Cuellar promised Azerbaijani contacts to “set up a meeting” with U.S. defense officials to discuss matters benefiting Azerbaijan, directly linking his legislative actions to the bribes received.

According to the Justice Department, Rep. Cuellar and his wife, Imelda, surrendered to authorities on Friday. After an initial appearance before a federal judge in Houston, they were released on $100,000 bond each.

Charges against Rep. Cuellar and his wife include bribery, conspiracy, acting as agents of foreign principals and money laundering. If convicted, they can spend decades in prison and may need to forfeit property linked to proceeds from the alleged scheme.

ANCA
The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) is the largest and most influential Armenian-American grassroots organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters and supporters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCA actively advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.

11 Comments

  1. Thank God that the FBI has the goods on this scumbag Cuellar and his wretched wife. I hope the FBI uses “enhanced measures of interrogation” to get more information on the rotten network of unregistered Azeri foreign agents who have infiltrated our country. As correctly pointed out this is just the tip of the iceberg.
    I wonder if some smart and patriotic Armenian American attorneys would be willing to do some pro bono work to not only nail this criminal but also root out the other Azeri scoundrels who are part of this illegal influence peddling cartel.

  2. WHAT???? Corruption in Washington DC???

    Quick, ANCA, AGBU, and all the other patriots who protested Rob and Serzh, you guys need to go to DC pronto!!!

    We need to install a new “Civil Contract” in DC, and get a homeless looking cuckold like Pashinyan to run the show, Armenian Styles!!!

  3. Im so aghast that there is CORRIPTION in Washington DC

    I only thought that CORRUPTION was done by Rob and Serzh.

    NOOOOO…. What does this mean for Westetn Democracy???

    PLEASE SOMEONE TELL ME!!!

  4. The long arm of Azerbaijan’s “Caviar Diplomacy” (i.e. Azerbaijani state sponsored lobbying and bribery) stretches not only to US politicians and bureaucrats, but also to European and EU politicians and bureaucrats, and to politicians and bureaucrats all around the world. Azerbaijan spends many millions in its lobbying activities around the world, which of course includes bribing and buying politicians and bureaucrats in order to support and advance Azerbaijan’s national interests in foreign governments and parliaments, to the detriment of Armenia’s national interests, and often with succcesful results. This kleptocratic mafia state has bought off many politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen, and there are likely many more we don’t know of. As long as Azerbaijan and the Aliyev dictatorship is not sanctioned in any effective and meaningful way, that criminal regime will get away with its crimes against Armenia and Armenians and continue with its malevolent activities.

    • Steve, you mean to say that bribery is because Aliyev acted in the best interests of his country, and has nothing to do with “CORRUPTION” in the United States?

      Steven, why did twitter close down the twitter profile following Nancy Pelosi’s stock picks? How is a US Congressman like Pelosi, etc, who make annual salaries of $200k, worth hundreds of millions?

      Steven M, are you saying there is no CORRUPTION in the United States? If there is CORRUPTION in the United States, why aren’t you getting your buddies to protest US CORRUPTION the way you guys did with Rob and Serzh?

      Steven M, OUR DEMOCRACY IS AT STAKE!!! PLEASE PROTEST AMERICAN CORRUPTION!!! DEMOCRACY!!!!

  5. Steve is one of our professional Russophobes and crusaders of western style “democracy”. Said otherwise, it’s the Steves of Armenian society that brought Armenia and Artsakh to where they are today…

  6. The US today is the modern manifestation of the Whore of Babylon. Washington DC is the epicenter of the severe civilizational decay, degeneracy and corruption we see in the world today.

    • To Gurgen and BJ, Please let’s keep the cold war between the US and Russia out of this. We are all Armenians who care about the Armenian homeland. The enemy is Turkey and Azerbaijan. Please let’s focus on that.
      Of course there is corruption in the US. There is also corruption in Russia and Armenia. There are different degrees of corruption too. Steve correctly points out that Aliyev is among the most corrupt leaders in the world and in 2012 was Person of the Year in Organized Crime and Corruption. If corruption is attacked anywhere in the world it makes someone like Aliyev less effective. That is the point.

    • Your ridiculous comment describes Russia more accurately. The Azeris bought their way into Putin’s good graces by bribery. The Kremlin has betrayed its commitments to its Christian political and military ally for Azerbaijani oil money. Russia’s reputation in Armenia is now a negative one.

  7. I am neither a Russophobe/Russophile nor pro-West/anti-West. Of course there is widespread corruption in the United States, the country is infested with it from top to bottom and it is not tackled. The United States may be the most corrupt country in the Western World. But one should not ignore the fact, that the extremely corrupt kleptocratic dictatorship Azerbaijan, exploits this corruption in Washington DC for its own interests. Since none of these problems are seriously addressed and any action taken, this vicious circle will continue.

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