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Tag Archive: Mitchell Wade

Common Cause Files a Criminal Complaint Against Katherine Harris:

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Common Cause believes that Rep. Katherine Harris (R-FL) broke the law (via Raw Story):

The description of the conversation between Wade and Rep. Harris, as it is described in the Statement of Offense, suggests that Harris took official action to obtain funding and approval for this military project in exchange for the offer of MZM's holding a fundraiser for Rep. Harris. The official action taken by Rep. Harris to insert a funding request for a counterintelligence project that appears similar to a program which Wade and Rep. Harris discussed in the same conversation as the fundraiser, as it is described in the Statement of Offense, suggests that Rep. Harris violated U.S. Code 18§201, which states: (b) Whoever - (2) being a public official or person selected to be a public official, directly or indirectly, corruptly demands, seeks, receives, accepts, or agrees to receive or accept anything of value personally or for any other person or entity, in return for: (A) being influenced in the performance of any official act; shall be fined under this title or not more than three times the monetary equivalent of the thing of value, whichever is greater, or imprisoned for not more than fifteen years, or both, and may be disqualified from holding any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States. Based on publicly available documents, we believe there is sufficient evidence to suggest that Rep. Harris has violated U.S. Code 18§201. We request that the Public Integrity Division investigate whether Rep. Harris violated U.S. Code 18§201.

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Scandal Checklist:

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Bribery? Check! Shady defense contractors with possible connections to domestic spying? Check! Congressman behind bars? Check! And finally, hookers? Check! If scandals were judged like Olympic contests I'd have to give this one a 9.1. Anyways, go read Justin Rood for more. Here's a couple paragraphs from the Wall Street Journal article:

Mr. Wade in February pleaded guilty to giving bribes of more than $1 million to Mr. Cunningham, including cash, antiques and payment for yachts. Mr. Wade, who hasn't been sentenced yet, is cooperating with prosecutors. According to people with knowledge of the investigation, Mr. Wade told investigators that Mr. Cunningham periodically phoned him to request a prostitute, and that Mr. Wade then helped to arrange for one. A limousine driver then picked up the prostitute as well as Mr. Cunningham, and drove them to one of the hotel suites, originally at the Watergate Hotel, and subsequently at the Westin Grand. Mr. Wade told investigators that all the arrangements for these services had been made by Mr. Wilkes and two employees of Mr. Wilkes's company, according to people with knowledge of his debriefing. He said Mr. Wilkes had rented the hotel suites and found the limousine driver, who had "relationships" with several escort services. Mr. Wade told prosecutors that sometimes Mr. Cunningham would contact him to request these services, and he would pass on the request to Mr. Wilkes or his employees, who then made the actual arrangement. Mr. Wade said that other times Mr. Cunningham called Mr. Wilkes directly to make the requests.
The FBI is looking into whether other lawmakers benefited from this arrangement as well.

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Demonic Possessions:

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Last year Katherine Harris shared a $2,800 dinner with bribery contractor and recently convicted felon Mitchell Wade in, what seems to be, violation of House rules. She has claimed that the tab was so high because Wade bought $1,000 bottles of wine and took them home uncorked - the restaurant owner has stated that they do not allow anyone to leave the restaurant with opened wine bottles as it is against the law. Harris has claimed that her portion of the meal cost $100 and she has donated $100 to a charity of her choosing. That charity happens to deliver people from "demonic possessions". From The Ledger of Lakeland, Florida:

The group to which Harris donated $100 is Jacksonville-based Global Dominion Impact Ministries, Harris spokesman Chris Ingram said. A Web site for a group named Global Dominion Impact Ministries based in Jacksonville states that one of the group's founders, pastor Sandra Jones, "has an inspiring testimony of her deliverance from being sold to devils as an infant. She also shares her miraculous healing from her breast cancer as well as being raised from the dead."

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The Bordeaux Is Out of the Bottle:

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Former defense contractor and current convicted criminal Mitchell Wade spent $2,800 on a dinner with Rep. Katherine Harris (R-FL) and offered to throw a campaign fundraiser for her as he was attempting to gain her support for $10 million in federal money, according to the Orlando Sentinel. House rules prohibit members from accepting any gift or meal worth more than $50 from corporate officials or lobbyists. Harris also received $32,000 in illegal campaign contributions from Wade. Harris' explanation for the dinner has been less than satisfactory:

In her interview Wednesday, Harris acknowledged for the first time that Wade had paid for the dinner at Citronelle, reversing a statement from her congressional spokeswoman earlier this year. But in the interview, Harris also said her campaign had, at some point, "reimbursed" the restaurant. When asked how she could have reimbursed a business that was owed no money -- Wade paid the bill that evening -- she abruptly ended the interview and walked off. Her spokesman called back an hour later and asked a reporter not to publish anything Harris had said Wednesday night about the dinner. On Thursday, Harris' campaign released a two-paragraph statement that differed from her explanation a day earlier. It stated that Harris thought her "campaign would be reimbursing" her share of the meal but later found out that hadn't happened. To resolve any questions, the statement said, "I have donated to a local Florida charity $100 which will more than adequately compensate for the cost of my beverage and appetizer."
The meal was so expensive because Mitchell Wade's favorite wine happens to be a $1,000 bottle of French bordeaux. Harris clearly should not have let Wade open that wine as Massie Ritsch of the Center for Responsive Politics put it: "Once the Bordeaux is out of the bottle ... you can't put it back." And finally, the key sentence to take away from the story: "The Department of Justice would not discuss the details of that night."

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Wade Pushed Contracting Practices to the Limit:

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The Washington Post provides the story behind the rise and fall of Mitchell Wade, the defense contractor convicted of bribing ex-Rep. Duke Cunningham and defense department officials, and passing along illegal donations to two other lawmakers. Wade, who learned the intricacies of the procurement process from working as a civilian worker at the Pentagon and as an apprentice to Brent Wilkes, another contractor implicated in the Cunningham bribery, took existing practices and pushed them to the limit to become a contracting powerhouse. Wade “aggressively used the ‘revolving door’ between the government's defense and intelligence bureaucracy and the private industry,” hiring “top talent” and “freely distributed title and rank, appointing more than 100 vice presidents, executive vice presidents and ‘senior executive vice presidents’” while paying higher wages than any other defense contractor would offer for officials with security clearances. Wade found the global war on terrorism good for business as a Knight Ridder report shows that the Pentagon hired his MZM to “collect data on houses of worship, schools, power plants and other locations in the United States.”

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Contractor Used ‘Straw’ Donors to Contribute to Lawmakers:

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A defense contractor’s use of ‘straw’ donors for political contributions has “raised new questions” about two lawmakers, Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA) and Rep. Katharine Harris (R-FL), and “the tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions he steered to the two GOP lawmakers.” According to Roll Call, Mitchell Wade, guilty of bribing former Rep. Duke Cunningham and violating federal election laws, “funneled $78,000 in illegal campaign donations from 2003 to 2005 to Goode and Harris through 39 “straw” donors, all of whom were MZM employees or their spouses.” The Justice Department document states that neither Harris nor Goode knew that the contributions were illegal and both have denied wrongdoing. However, Goode, a recipient of $90,000 from Wade and MZM, wrote an earmark that secured “$3.6 million in federal defense funds that went to MZM for a facility in Martinsville, Va., and he was also instrumental in securing $500,000 in state grants to purchase the site.”

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Contractor Pleads Guilty in Congressional Bribery Case:

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Mitchell Wade, the head of the Washington firm MZM, Inc., pleaded guilty “to his role in lavishing more than $1 million in gifts on a California congressman,” according to the Associated Press. That congressman, Duke Cunningham, resigned from Congress after pleading guilty to accepting $2.4 million in bribes from Wade and the San Diego defense contractor Brent Wilkes. Wade’s bribes to Cunningham included purchasing the congressman’s house at a price inflated by $700,000 and buying him a $140,000 yacht, nicknamed the ‘Dukestir’. Wilkes and the other co-conspirators – Thomas Kontogiannis and John T. Michael – have yet to plead in the case.

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