Wednesday, September 19, 2007
13 US congressmen involved in bribery.
Thirteen Congress members have been subpoenaed to testify in the trial of a defense contractor charged with bribing jailed Rep. Cunningham.
The subpoenas were sought by attorneys for contractor Brent Wilkes who faces a trial in San Diego on more than 30 counts of bribery, fraud, money laundering and conspiracy in connection with his relationship with Cunningham.
Wilkes' attorneys are seeking testimony from several other lawmakers including former House speaker Dennis Hastert, Reps. John Doolittle, Alan Mollohan, William Jefferson Jerry Weller and Sen. Ted Stevens.
Cunningham is serving an eight-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to accepting more than $2 million in bribes.
America's "most corrupt" list is a biennial report issued by the Washington-based congressional watchdog group known as the CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington).
The subpoenas from US District Court for the Southern District of California were read on the House floor late Monday in accordance with House rules requiring lawmakers to inform the House speaker if they've been subpoenaed.
All the lawmakers said in notifications to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that after consulting with House attorneys they had decided not to comply with the subpoenas.
One of the representatives, Jerry Weller makes the list for several ethical issues, including his failure to report some Nicaraguan land deals on his financial disclosure form.
Also, a non-profit organization formed by Weller's wife, a member of the Guatemalan Congress, includes Weller family members and a business associate on its board of directors, raising questions about whether the couple's finances are sufficiently separate to merit a disclosure exemption.
The Washington-based watchdog group has also repeatedly sued the Bush administration for corruption.