Josh Marshall

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I'm sure this will show up in other publications. But for the moment, I was just looking through the list of Duke Cunningham's offenses in the article (sub.req.) on the Roll Call website. And it's breath-taking.

The stuff we knew about, the boats and house purchases, were really only the tip of the iceberg.

In pure dollar terms the house scams may have been the biggest. But on many occasions Duke and the defense contractors who owned him didn't even cover with the flimsy real estate covers.

So for instance, here are some of the examples ...

On May 1, 2000, he took $100,000 in two separate checks from “Co-conspirator No. 1” depositing $70,000 into his personal bank account in San Diego and $30,000 into his account with the Congressional Federal Credit Union;


On Feb. 27, 2002, the co-conspirator believed to be Kontogiannis paid $10,000 to Cunningham, who deposited the money into his credit union account;


On Jan. 13, 2003, Wade paid $33,000 to Cunningham in two separate checks, money that went into his California accounts;

As I said, in dollar terms these weren't the biggest offenses. In audacity terms, they rate fairly high.

Statement of Rep. Randy Cunningham (R-CA) ...

I am resigning from the House of Representatives because I’ve compromised the trust of my constituents.

When I announced several months ago that I would not seek re-election, I publicly declared my innocence because I was not strong enough to face the truth. So, I misled my family, staff, friends, colleagues, the public -- even myself. For all of this, I am deeply sorry.

The truth is -- I broke the law, concealed my conduct, and disgraced my high office. I know that I will forfeit my freedom, my reputation, my worldly possessions, and most importantly, the trust of my friends and family.

Some time ago, I asked my lawyers to inform the U.S. Attorney Carol Lam that I would like to plead guilty and begin serving a prison term. Today is the culmination of that process. I will continue to cooperate with the government’s ongoing investigation to the best of my ability.

In my life, I have known great joy and great sorrow. And now I know great shame. I learned in Viet Nam that the true measure of a man is how he responds to adversity. I cannot undo what I have done. But I can atone. I am now almost 65 years old and, as I enter the twilight of my life, I intend to use the remaining time that God grants me to make amends.

The first step in that journey is to admit fault and apologize. The next step is to face the consequences of my actions like a man. Today, I have taken the first step and, with God’s grace, I will soon take the second.

Thank you.

Won't have Duke to kick around any more. Cunningham resigns from Congress.

Interesting. The current AP story on Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham contains no mention of his party affiliation.

TPM Reader RF pointed this out.

Late Update: The piece now seems to be updated with the reference.

Make that much more than tax code violations ...

Cunningham pleaded guilty to one count of income tax evasion and four counts of conspiracy: mail fraud, wire fraud, bribery of public official and accepting bribes. U.S. District Larry A. Burns scheduled Cunningham's sentencing for Feb. 27.

A somber-looking Cunningham stood with his hands clasped in front of him, answering the judge's questions with a muted "Yes, your honor," or, at times, "Yes, sir."

"Between the year 2000 and June of 2005 in our district, you conspired to accept bribes in exchange for performance of official duties. Did you do that?" Judge Burns asked Cunningham.

"Yes, your honor," Cunningham replied.

"Did you take both cash payments and payments in kind?"

"Yes, your honor," the congressman said.

"Did you follow up by trying to influence the Defense Department?"

"Yes, your honor."

Duke, reportedly, will speak to the press at 2:30 PM EST, 11:30 AM on the west coast. Does he resign?

So Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham has now admitted to taking bribes to help defense contractors secure contracts. And he's still on the Appropriations Committee's defense subcommittee.

From the latest AP story ...

Cunningham answered "yes, Your Honor" when asked by U.S. District Judge Larry Burns if he had accepted bribes from someone in exchange for his performance of official duties.

A bit more than tax code violations ...

Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham pleaded guilty Monday morning to conspiring to take bribes in exchange for using his influence to help a defense contractor get business.

He also pleaded guilty to one count of income tax evasion.

U.S. District Larry A. Burns scheduled Cunninghman's sentencing for Feb. 27.

The rest here from the Union-Tribune.

Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham to plead guilty to tax code violations, says the AP. The local paper, the Union-Tribune, says that he'll plead guilty to "criminal charges." "It's over. I can't fight anymore," Cunningham tells supporters.

I guess tax code violations can mean many things. But there were several instances of seemingly clear-cut influence-peddling and/or bribery in the Duke cas. It will be interesting to see how those are disposed of in this plea agreement.

And where does this leave Duke's fat cats Mitchell Wade and Brent Wilkes.

Off the AP wire ...

A military vehicle carrying three congressmen overturned on the way to the Baghdad airport, injuring two of them, the U.S. Embassy said Sunday.

Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., was airlifted to a military hospital in Germany for an MRI on his neck, and Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., was sent to a Baghdad hospital for evaluation, said Rep. Jim Marshall, D-Ga., who was also in the vehicle but was not hurt when it overturned Saturday.

Murphy is ''bumped and bruised, but in good spirits,'' his chief of staff, Susan Mosychuck, said Sunday. He will return home from Germany as soon as he is cleared by doctors, she said.

Skelton spokeswoman Lara Battles said she believed Skelton was also doing well. She declined to comment further.