Yep, we were right
. Brent Wilkes
, the Duke Cunningham
sugar daddy still at large, is the focus of a federal grand jury investigation in San Diego.
According to the AP, who sources the news to two lawyers close to the investigation, the grand jury is meeting regularly. That means the feds are actively pushing to indict Wilkes, who received over $100 million in contracts after spreading over a million dollars in illegal cash and favors around Washington, as well as allegedly hosting poker parties and providing food, liquor and prostitutes to lawmakers and staff.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but if at any point Wilkes opts to plea out and cooperate with the investigation, a sweaty Washington summer will become exponentially sweatier for a number of lawmakers and their staff. Wilkes was the source of tens of thousands of dollars in questionable favors and contributions to Reps. Jerry Lewis
(R-CA), John Doolittle
(R-CA), Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), as well as former lawmakers Tom DeLay
and Duke Cunningham.
Wilkes has shown every sign of fighting any charges -- except for a cryptic comment buried in a recent Vanity Fair article
about Cunningham. Wilkes' attorney, Nancy Luque, vigorously denies all the charges the magazine repeats about her client, but then adds: "He will not plead guilty, because he is not guilty. . . But he has offered to cooperate."
For the moment, however, Wilkes isn't lifting a finger, the magazine reports. And that's infuriating to federal prosecutors. "Incensed and invigorated, prosecutors are poring over his campaign contributions, and the Pentagon's inspector general is scrutinizing his contracts," VF says.