A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Congressmembers subpoenaed to testify in Cunningham contractor bribery trial

[JURIST] Lawyers for Brent Wilkes [Newsweek profile], a defense contractor connected to disgraced former Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham [official profile], have subpoenaed 13 members of Congress to testify at Wilkes' October 2 trial. All of the lawmakers, including former House Speaker Dennis Hastert [official website], have said they will not comply with the orders, because according to House Rules [text], sitting House members may only comply with subpoenas when their testimony could be "material and relevant." General counsel for the House has said it will file a motion to quash the subpoenas because Wilkes' lawyers have failed to show how the lawmakers' testimonies are relevant to the trial. The subpoenas were announced [floor summary] during House floor proceedings Monday, as dictated by the Rules.

Wilkes and former CIA executive director Kyle "Dusty" Foggo [Wikipedia profile] were both indicted by a grand jury [JURIST report] in February for their involvement in the Cunningham case, and have been under investigation by the FBI since last May, after Cunningham pleaded guilty in 2005 [JURIST report] to taking $2.4 million in bribes from Wilkes and others in return for federal contracts. The indictment includes charges of money laundering and fraud, as well as conspiracy between Wilkes and John T. Michael, nephew of New York businessman Thomas Kontogiannis [Union Tribune report], to bribe Cunningham. Wilkes is also alleged to have received $12 million in unlawful government contracts for his company ADCS [corporate website]. Wilkes has pleaded not guilty to 25 counts of money laundering, fraud, and corruption. Both Foggo and Wilkes face up to 20 years in prison if convicted on all charges. AP has more.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.