Roll Call is reporting that the Justice Department is expanding their investigation in the Duke Cunningham case to include the actions of three House committees, Intelligence, Appropriations, and Armed Services. Justice investigators are “seeking to interview at least nine current or former staffers” on these three panels while “also seeking “tens of thousands of pages” of Congressional documents, some going back to 1997, related to Cunningham and government programs he may have had influence over”.
Many of the earmarks and projects created in the Intelligence and Armed Services Committees are “black” (classified) programs and the staffers and congressmen may decide to block investigators from obtaining information about these programs. The two defense contractors accused of bribing Duke Cunningham both received earmarks for controversial “black” programs. Mitchell Wade, who pled guilty to bribing Cunningham, had a “black” contract that was tied to domestic wiretapping. Brent Wilkes, who investigators have yet to indict, maintained “black” programs relating to rendition of prisoners.