Ending the strange silence of Congress on the Cuellar/Azerbaijan scandal

In a political landscape defined by increasingly vocal outrage over every new scandal, the stunning congressional silence surrounding the Henry Cuellar bribery case is both deafening and deeply troubling. Cuellar, a Democrat from Texas, stands accused by our federal government, in a 54-page indictment unsealed on April 30, of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from Azerbaijan’s oil-rich Aliyev regime in order to manipulate U.S. policy against Christian Armenians. Three of his associates have already pleaded guilty to laundering these bribes, yet the halls of Congress remain eerily quiet.

In an era defined by the rapid-fire news and a growing public demand for accountability, the lack of response from our elected representatives is nothing short of astonishing. It is as if they’ve all suddenly lost their voices, or perhaps there is something about this scandal that is too sensitive to touch – a concern underscored by recent indications coming from Cuellar’s defense that his prosecution might risk the revelation of classified U.S. documents. One can’t help but question whether this silence is a result of some signal from a dark corner of the U.S. foreign policy establishment that Azerbaijan gets a free pass for interfering in U.S. policy-making. They certainly were given a blank check last year to commit genocide against Artsakh’s (Nagorno Karabakh) indigenous Christian Armenians.

The absence of any meaningful response from Congress on the Cuellar bribery scandal sends a dangerous message to the American people. It suggests that our elected representatives are more concerned with protecting foreign interests than upholding the values of honesty, transparency and accountability. In a time when trust in government is at an all-time low, the silence surrounding this scandal only serves to further erode the public’s faith in our political institutions. It’s a sad state of affairs when the people we elect to represent us seem more interested in protecting a far-away corrupt dictatorship than in serving the American people right here at home.

As the Cuellar bribery scandal continues to unfold, it remains to be seen whether members of Congress will finally find their voice and take a stand against this corruption. Until then, the strange silence of our elected representatives will continue to cast a shadow over the halls of power, leaving the American people to wonder if anyone in Washington is truly looking out for our best interests.

For my part, I am calling on my U.S. representative to expel Congressman Cuellar via the ANCA’s website – anca.org/expel. Please join me in ending the strange silence of Congress on the Cuellar scandal.

Ani Frankian Vernor

Ani Frankian Vernor

Ani Frankian Vernor is the chair of the Armenian National Committee of America - Texas.
Ani Frankian Vernor

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