In the Randy “Duke” Cunningham scandal, the Duke-Stir himself was the first to fall. One crooked contractor, Mitchell Wade, has already pled guilty and will head to the pokey soon.
But with a scandal as complex and far-reaching as Cunningham’s, there will be others to go we don’t yet know about. Who could they be?
Defense contractors are one possible target: Time Magazine reported in January that the “big chinchilla” wore a wire, and while his lawyers insisted he never used it to tape other public officials, they said nothing about his conversations with businesspeople. There’s speculation the Feds are on to bribes from other companies we haven’t heard about yet.Last week, GOP Reps. Virgil Goode (R-VA) and Katherine Harris (R-FL) were connected to the scandal, named as allegedly unknowing recipients of illegal campaign contributions. It’s not yet clear what kind of trouble the two are in; Harris got a hotshot lawyer, while Goode has simply stated his innocence.
Further, the Justice Department has stated it is going after unnamed Pentagon officials for taking bribes from Cunningham’s pal, Mitchell Wade — it appears there are at least two documented cases where MZM swapped lucrative jobs for contracts.
Of course, the CIA Inspector General is said to be chasing bits of the scandal that reach as far as its Langley HQ, and into the seventh-floor office of Dusty Foggo. Last December, the House Intelligence Committee announced it would probe Cunningham’s activities; will their investigators discover more questionable earmarks for companies we haven’t yet heard about? And, more importantly, will the committee tell the rest of us if they do?
From what I can find, that’s what we know so far. But keep in mind that it looks like Duke-Stir’s not done singing. At Cunningham’s sentencing, the Feds argued for him to get more time in jail, so they could have the option of shaving some off for further cooperation. His story is over, but his rhyme ain’t done.