Monday, November 28, 2005

The Duke goes down: Cunningham pleads guilty

Busted:

Representative Randy Cunningham of California resigned from Congress today after admitting to a federal judge that he had taken $2.4 million in bribes from a military contractor.

Mr. Cunningham, 63, made a brief and tearful announcement to a group of reporters outside a federal courthouse in San Diego after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery. He admitted to taking money from a military contractor in exchange for his supporting the contractor's efforts to secure Defense Department contracts. The eight-term Republican congressman, one of the most highly decorated fighter pilots of the Vietnam War, also pleaded guilty to charges of mail fraud, wire fraud and tax evasion for underreporting his income in 2004.

"The truth is I broke the law," Mr. Cunningham, and "disgraced my family."

"I forfeited my freedom, my reputation, my worldly possessions," and, he added, his voice breaking, "most importantly, the trust of my friends and family."

"I can't undo what I have done but I can atone," he told reporters.

Well, I hope you do. (By the way, you've also disgraced Congress and the Constitution. And you've fueled the apathy and cynicism that pervades American political life. Your friends and family must be so proud.)

Good riddance.

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For some good reaction, see The Carpetbagger Report, Demagogue, Shakespeare's Sister, The Left Coaster, and Running Scared.

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