The moderate Democrat, whose district spans from Laredo to San Antonio, shared a video Tuesday in which he addresses the probe from outside his childhood home in South Texas. The clip was tweeted out by his reelection campaign.
"There is an ongoing investigation that will show there was no wrongdoing on my part," he said. "As an attorney, I know firsthand that the legal system is a pillar of our democracy."
A statement from Congressman Cuellar:— Henry Cuellar (@CuellarCampaign) January 25, 2022
Cuellar added: "I pride myself on being your congressman and always doing things honestly, ethically and in the right way. Nothing can distract me from being laser-focused on getting the job done for you and South Texas the way I always have."
Citing people familiar with the investigation, ABC News last week reported that it's linked to oil interests in Azerbaijan and involves several U.S. businessmen. A separate story by online news site The Intercept accused the congressman of having "close ties" with a group in Azerbaijan previously investigated by the FBI.
Watchdog groups have labeled Cuellar as “Big Oil’s Favorite Democrat," and he's racked up more than $1 million in oil-and-gas industry campaign contributions during his lengthy congressional career.
News of the FBI investigation comes as Cuellar heads into what's likely to be a challenging March 1 primary. He's facing progressive Jessica Cisneros, who came within four points of ousting him from the Democratic ticket in 2020. A second rival, Tannya Benavides, is also running in this year's primary.
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