Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Cunningham Sleaze

Former congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham's sentencing hearing is scheduled for this Friday. Today's Union Tribune has a large selection of Cunningham sleaze for its readers. The UT summarizes the prosecutor's rebuttal of defense claims in an article titled, "Greed only motivation."

The U.S. Attorney's Office said “the evidence indicates that Cunningham's motivation was to ensure that his co-conspirators gorged themselves at the national trough regardless of the national interest.”

The prosecutors said Cunningham enthusiastically conspired with defense contractors who complied with his escalating demands for cash, furniture, trips and other bribes.

The papers also provide the most detailed description so far of Cunningham's corruption. Prosecutors cited graphic examples of how Cunningham browbeat, threatened and intimidated Pentagon officials and his own staff so that millions of dollars went into the pockets of the contractors.

The complete government document is available here.

In a separate document government prosecutors state their case for the imposition of the maximum sentence of 10 years by the court.

These government documents point up something that I think has been overlooked about Cunningham's lies and deceptions. After evidence of Cunningham's illegal activities become public in July, Cunningham not only repeatedly claimed his innocence, he continued to steal money from his supporters to pay his legal bills.

Cunningham went to the Federal Election Commission to have his campaign funds released for use in his defense and he set up a separate defense fund and solicited contributions. All while proclaiming his innocence. All while knowing that he was guilty.