In a piece filled with precious, precious details about Brent “Boom shaka laka” Wilkes (e.g. that he stayed in the King Kamehameha Suite at the Royal Hawaiian resort, that he’s a former linebacker, and that he tends to break into show tunes) Newsweek reports that the FBI is investigating Wilkes’ ties to Reps. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and Tom DeLay (R-TX):
According to published reports and congressional and law-enforcement sources who did not want to be identified discussing a sensitive investigation, the Feds are also reviewing Wilkes’s ties to other powerful House leaders. Former GOP majority leader Tom DeLay, Armed Services Committee chairman Duncan Hunter and Appropriations Committee chairman Jerry Lewis all reportedly had dealings with Wilkes. None has been accused of any wrongdoing; a spokesman for Lewis said the congressman had not seen Wilkes for 10 years. Hunter’s spokesman said his boss urged the Pentagon to ignore congressional pressure on contracting, and DeLay’s lawyer had no immediate comment.
It’s certainly no surprise that the feds would be looking at Hunter and DeLay (the investigation of Lewis has been widely reported). Hunter, as we noted before, sometimes tag-teamed with Duke Cunningham to make sure that Wilkes got his contracts. And DeLay was a frequent flier on Air Wilkes, taking his corporate jet at least three times.
For those trying to keep score at home, this would be the third ongoing investigation of DeLay: 1) He’s being prosecuted in Texas for laundering corporate contributions, 2) Two of his former aides have pled guilty in the Abramoff investigation, and a third is in big trouble, and 3) His ties to Brent Wilkes are now occupying investigators. It looks like he has a very busy retirement ahead of him.