Last November, House intelligence committee chairman Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) vowed a probe into how former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-CA) abused the classified budget process to hide secret earmarks for companies who bribed him.
Senate counsel Michael Stern was loaned to the committee to lead the process -- and the whole affair was plunged into darkness. No public report or hearing has been promised, and no end date was ever given. (Back in March, Hoekstra insisted the report would be completed within "weeks.")
Tonight, AP reports
that Stern has briefed the committee on his findings, a likely sign his work is wrapping up. Hoekstra told AP that the investigator wants to interview Cunningham himself, as "a final step." Justice Department lawyers are resisting, fearing trouble for ongoing investigations into the Cunningham matter. Hoekstra is threatening to use his subpoena power to overrule their objections.
Will Stern get a climactic face-to-face with the Duke? What will he learn? And will the public ever learn the results of the probe?