They've got muck; we've got rakes. TPM Muckraker

There's a race on in the District of Columbia's U.S. Attorney's Office - who's the more dangerous cooperator: Jack Abramoff or Mitchell Wade?

Abramoff, you've heard plenty about. But it's time to start giving Mitch Wade his due. He brought down Duke Cunningham, supplying prosecutors with most of the information in Duke's plea agreement. And we have Wade to thank for hookergate, since he was the one who told investigators that Brent Wilkes was supplying Duke and possibly others with prostitutes. It's likely that Wade, continuing to dish on his old pal Brent Wilkes, was also behind the recent widening of the Cunningham investigation to other members of the Appropriations Committee.

Well, it looks like there's a lot more where that came from. In a recent filing, prosecutors and Wade's attorney have asked to postpone the preparation for Wade's sentencing - he pled guilty back in February - because his cooperation is ongoing. In fact, it's likely to "continue for quite some time," according to prosecutors. As a result, they don't even want to set a sentencing date when they meet with the judge as scheduled on August 21. If they get their wish, it's unlikely that Wade will be sentenced until next year. And that gives him plenty of time to do all he can to lighten his sentence.

I think the smart money is on Mitchell Wade.

From ABC News:

NSA whistleblower Russ Tice says he will tell Congress Wednesday of "probable unlawful and unconstitutional acts" involving the agency's former director, Gen. Michael Hayden, President Bush's nominee to run the CIA.

Tice, a former technical intelligence specialist at NSA who first went public on ABC News, says he has been asked to testify Wednesday before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

In a letter to the committee, Tice says the alleged illegal acts involved "very highly sensitive intelligence programs and operations known as Special Access Programs (SAPs)."


Read the letter here.

We spend a lot of time here at TPMmuckraker digging into Brent Wilkes' doings. And yet, despite all the seamy details, there just hasn't been that one thing that really brings the man alive for me. Oh, but my wait is over.

Turns out that Wilkes had a habit of shouting "catch phrases such as 'boom shaka laka' and 'yeah baby' whenever good news arrived." What good news? Well, you'd think that Duke Cunningham pushing through a multimillion dollar earmark would be an occasion for a "BOOM shaka laka!" And you can be sure that Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA), Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), and Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA) were all good for a "Yeah baby!" on a number of occasions.

What's more:

In May 2004, Wilkes' employees threw him a surprise party on his 50th birthday.

About 200 people attended the event, which included batting cages, a mechanical bull, a steel drum band, jousting and a dunk tank.

Banners with Wilkes' favorite sayings, such as "God loves a working man," "Boom Shaka Laka," and "Happy 50th ... Yeah Baby!" were in view.

Ah, California, land of ethically challenged congressmen.

The Los Angeles Times reports this morning on another California rep and another questionable real estate deal. No, this one doesn't feature a crooked defense contractor.

Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA), it turns out, is quite the real estate mogul. Only it seems he has something of an unfair advantage over the average investor. Being a member of Congress, he has the power to earmark funds for transportation projects that just happen to run near his investments:

Last year, [Calvert] and a partner paid $550,000 for a dusty four-acre parcel just south of March Air Reserve Base. Less than a year later, without even cutting the weeds or carting off old septic tank parts that littered the ground, they sold the land for almost $1 million....

During the time he owned the land, Calvert used the legislative process known as earmarking to secure $8 million for a planned freeway interchange 16 miles from the property, and an additional $1.5 million to support commercial development of the area around the airfield.

A map of Calvert's recent real estate holdings and those of his partner shows many of them near the transportation projects he has supported with federal appropriations. And improvements to the transportation infrastructure have contributed to the area's explosive growth, according to development experts.

There's been some speculation that White House adviser Karl Rove cancelled his scheduled appearance at the American Enterprise Institute. AEI spokesman Andrew Pappas assures me this morning that's not the case -- "it's still on," he said.

Rove's speech is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Although registration has been closed for since Friday afternoon, Pappas told me, the event will be broadcast on C-SPAN.

Federal prosecutors working the Cunningham case have requested so much information from Congress, three committees might have to "shut down" to comply, Roll Call's John Bresnahan reports.

U.S. Attorneys want boxloads of documents from the House Armed Services, Intelligence, and Appropriations committees, Bresnahan writes. They also want to interview at least nine current or former staffers.

It's clear from the requests that "the corruption probe that began with Cunningham has now clearly moved beyond the actions taken by the imprisoned former lawmaker to other Members," sources tell Roll Call, which notes recent stories naming Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA), appropriations committee chairman, as another target of the feds.

Attention Swimmers: This Year, Abramoff Crony Won't Save You Officials in Rehoboth Beach, Del. have declined an application from onetime Jack Abramoff lobbying crony Michael Scanlon to work as a lifeguard. Every summer from 2002 to 2005, Scanlon took a break from fleecing Indian tribes for millions of dollars to work as a lifeguard for the resort town, earning $11.35 an hour for his troubles. But not this year: officials nixed his bid, fearing "the prospect of television crews swarming over the beach should the scandal resurface in the news." (Delaware News Journal)

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We've noted Brent Wilkes' and Dusty Foggo's reputations as hell raising ladies' men before, but recent reporting has added a slew of details to the picture.

First, on Brent Wilkes, the crooked defense contractor who allegedly provided prostitutes to Duke Cunningham and others, there's this from The San Diego Union-Tribune:

Foggo's first foreign posting [at the CIA] was to Honduras, the center of the U.S.-backed Contra guerrilla fighters who were trying to topple the Marxist government of Nicaragua.

About that time, Wilkes launched a Washington-based financial firm and accompanied lawmakers on trips to Central America, where they met with Foggo and Contra leaders.

Three of Wilkes' former friends say he told them he was involved in assignations between some of the legislators and prostitutes in Central America. The former friends – each of whom has known Wilkes and Foggo since high school – would speak only on the condition that they not be identified.

"Brent Wilkes adamantly and vehemently denies ever being involved in getting anybody prostitutes, and that includes congressmen and any other officials," Wilkes' attorney said.


And on Dusty Foggo, the CIA's now former Executive Director, who was at Wilkes' poker parties, but claims never to have seen a prostitute there, there's this from Harper's Ken Silverstein:

Over the past few days, I've spoken to six former CIA officials - all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity - who know Foggo or are well acquainted with his work at the agency. They provided a number of previously unreported revelations about Foggo's career, particularly regarding his years in Honduras in the early 1980s, when the agency was using the country as a base both to support the Nicaraguan contras and for a variety of other covert programs in Central America....

Foggo, said my sources, was also a regular at a local bar named Gloria's, which one source said was chiefly known for having "a brisk hooker trade." While my sources had no direct knowledge of Foggo consorting with prostitutes, several said that simply being at a place like Gloria's was deemed to be a serious security problem and that Foggo's nocturnal habits were a source of great concern within the local CIA station.


And from Newsweek's Mark Hosenball:

During his time in Vienna, Foggo was also the subject of a CIA investigation for allegedly pursuing relationships with women without properly informing his employer - a potential security risk - according to two former CIA officials who also would not be named talking about agency procedures. Foggo's lawyer, William Hundley, did not respond to numerous requests for comment. But according to a source close to Foggo, who wouldn't speak about intelligence matters on the record, Foggo denied improprieties with women. Investigators concluded that Foggo hadn't posed a serious security risk.

Earlier today, Josh flagged Michael Isikoff's story on the juiciest bit from Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's latest filing in the Libby case: a copy of Joseph Wilson's July 6, 2003 Op-Ed bearing handwritten notes by Vice President Cheney such as "Did his wife send him on a junket?"

We've just posted a copy of the Op-Ed for you to see.

Earlier this week, The Wasington Post reported that part of the investigation into Dusty Foggo's relationship with Brent Wilkes was that Wilkes had picked up the tab for a number of the vacations the two took together.

Foggo's lawyer countered that these weren't gifts: they shared the costs. "One time [Foggo] would pay the airfare. Another time Brent would pay it."

Wilkes' lawyer agreed - they traded off:

Wilkes's lawyer, Nancy Luque, backed that account yesterday, saying that on one trip to Europe the families stayed at Foggo's house in Frankfurt, while on another to Hawaii they stayed at a rental home paid for by Wilkes. In the latter case, she said, Foggo chipped in by paying for dinners.


Hmm. But what would you say if you heard that rental home cost $20,000 per night?

From the Wall Street Journal:

People with knowledge of the case have said the prosecutors also are looking at evidence that Mr. Wilkes had given Mr. Foggo expensive gifts in recent years, including lavish, expense-paid trips with his family to Hawaii and Europe.

One person with knowledge of the case said a European trip included the rental of a castle in Scotland, and a Hawaii trip included a stay at a resort that cost more than $20,000 per night for the two families.


Oh, but Foggo "chipped in by paying for dinners." I'm sure it all washed out in the end, right?

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