Bam! Just like that, Duke Cunningham is back in the news.
He writes a scathing letter to the reporter who took him down (and who won a Pulitzer for doing so).
His wife concedes her own wrongdoing, but avoids prosecution if she applies her share of the proceeds of the sale of their ill-gotten home toward the hefty tax bill associated with all those bribes.
And, to top it off, apparently House Intelligence Committee Chairman Peter Hoekstra has been in direct contact with the imprisoned former member of his committee, much to the alarm of Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), the committee's ranking member.
Some background: The Intel Committee is investigating what other misdeeds, if any, Duke may have committed while on the committee, focusing specifically on whether and to what extent he was able to use the committee, its staff, and its cloak of secrecy to dispense favors to his bribers, and perhaps others.
The report of the investigation has been held up by a dispute over whether to subpoena Cunningham to testify. Harman is demanding it; Hoeksta says, unconvincingly, that there's no point in that because Cunningham will merely take the 5th.
Given that background, Harman is livid that Hoekstra has had direct contact with Cunningham without her knowledge, reports the NYT. And in a letter to Hoekstra this week she demands that Hoekstra not visit Duke in prison! âI believe this would be highly inappropriate,â Harman writes.
Now there's a scene for you. The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee visiting his former colleague in federal prison. Then again, that's what retirement might look like for a lot of Republicans.