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Calif. Congressman Admits Taking BribesI'll give him a slight nod of approval for at least admitting that he did it, but he's still a dumbass.
Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy and tax charges, admitting taking $2.4 million in bribes in a case that grew from an investigation into the sale of his home to a wide-ranging conspiracy involving payments in cash, vacations and antiques.
Cunningham, 63, entered pleas in U.S. District Court to charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud and wire fraud, and tax evasion for underreporting his income in 2004. 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.
Cunningham, an eight-term Republican congressman, resigned after his guilty plea. He had announced in July that he wouldn't seek re- election next year.
House Ethics rules say that any lawmaker convicted of a felony no longer should vote or participate in committee work. Under Republican caucus rules, Cunningham also would lose his chairmanship of the House Intelligence subcommittee on terrorism and human intelligence.
The former Vietnam War flying ace is known on Capitol Hill for his interest in defense issues and his occasional temperamental outbursts.
After the hearing, Cunningham was taken away for fingerprinting. He will be released on his own recognizance until a Feb. 27 sentencing hearing. He could receive a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
He also agreed to forfeit to the government his Rancho Santa Fe home, more than $1.8 million in cash and antiques and rugs.
In a statement, prosecutors said Cunningham admitted to receiving at least $2.4 million in bribes paid to him by several conspirators through a variety of methods, including checks totaling over $1 million, cash, rugs, antiques, furniture, yacht club fees and vacations.
"He did the worst thing an elected official can do _ he enriched himself through his position and violated the trust of those who put him there," U.S. Attorney Carol Lam said. The statement did not identify the conspirators.
The case began when authorities started investigating whether Cunningham and his wife, Nancy, used the proceeds from the $1,675,000 sale to defense contractor Mitchell Wade to buy a $2.55 million mansion in ritzy Rancho Santa Fe. Wade put the Del Mar house back on the market and sold it after nearly a year for $975,000 - a loss of $700,000.
Congrats Randy - you've made yourself look beyond stupid for your stupidity, your lack of firing neurons, and your continued ineptitude for even thinking that you'd get away with this.
In addition to making yourself a 100% complete ass-hatted clown, you've provided the Dems with more ammunition to use against those Republicans that aren't in the habit of taking bribes.
Damn!! This is the kind of crap that makes me contemplate changing my voter registration back to 'Decline to State'....