The trial of Brent Wilkes is on temporary hiatus due to the wildfires
, but we've got your Duke Cunningham
Unfortunately, it seems a sure thing now that Cunningham himself won't testify at the trial. As a kind of substitute, here's
(mp3) audio of the phone conversation that ended his Congressional career. It's available through the website
for The Wrong Stuff
, the book on Cunningham by the Copley News team that broke the story.
In early June of 2005, Copley reporter Marcus Stern came across records for Cunningham's now-infamous way-above-market house sale to defense contractor Mitch Wade (Wade himself sold the house months later for a loss of $700,000). And during that phone call, Stern got the other half of the quid pro quo he was looking for: Cunningham's admission that he'd written letters to help Wade's company MZM score contracts (that's at about the five minute mark). Four days later, Stern's story
; five months later, Cunningham pleaded guilty.
It's a little bit of journalistic history and a lesson (if you needed one) that just because someone keeps his cool, it doesn't mean he's not lying. Take a listen