GOP Contractor Found Guilty on 13 Counts of Bribery, Money Laundering and More

This post, written by Howie Klein, originally appeared on Down With Tyranny!

The case was so solid and one of the GOP contractors who was bribing Randy "Duke" Cunningham and at least half a dozen other Republican members of Congress was convicted today on all 13 charges. He could wind up in prison for 2 decades but that seems unlikely since he has the goods on so many lawmakers. During the trial, for example, he testified that he got far more out of crooked GOP congressman Jerry Lewis than he ever did out of Cunningham. And he has another trial coming up for bribing CIA Executive Director (procurement maven) Dusty Foggo.
Following the verdict, jury forewoman Tyheshia Smith-Kruck, the only jury member to speak to reporters, said the jury had no doubts about Wilkes' guilt.
"The evidence was enough to convict him of all charges," she said.
...Wilkes was tried on 13 charges of conspiracy, bribery, money laundering and honest services wire fraud.
Prosecutors contended that from 1997 to 2004 he showered Cunningham with gifts small and large. In all, they alleged, he leveraged $625,000 in cash bribes and tens of thousands more in gifts ranging from meals to computers in exchange for Cunningham's influence in appropriating money and pressuring bureaucrats to award contracts to ADCS Inc., Wilkes' company.
Wilkes forcefully denied bribing Cunningham. He testified that his interactions with the congressman were legitimate and legal, and his activity was simply "business as usual" in the lobbying and appropriations culture in Washington, D.C.
A central part of that culture is the process of earmarks-- where representatives insert money into budgets for programs with no oversight. That was a key component of the trial, with the government alleging Wilkes plied Cunningham to get earmarks into the Pentagon budget and then lean on bureaucrats to steer contracts to his company.
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