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

For the last few days, the Pentagon's lead criminal investigator in the Duke Cunningham corruption probe has made cryptic public complaints of non-cooperation about the now-imprisoned lawmaker.

The investigator, Rick Gwin, made more comments yesterday, this time to the San Diego Union-Tribune. He won't come out and say it -- yet -- but it sounds like he's not complaining about Duke as much as he is the prosecutors.

[Gwin's] agents haven't been able to get to the Butner Federal Correctional Complex in North Carolina to start the interrogation.

"We're just looking for the opportunity, in the future, to come down and debrief him," said Rick Gwin, special agent in charge of the Western regional office of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, one of three agencies investigating the case . . .

Gwin said his agency has asked the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Diego for an opportunity to question the former congressman.

"I think that's under way," he said.

Sound to anyone else like Gwin's subtly accusing the San Diego U.S. attorneys of foot-dragging?

Congressional Quarterly's Jeff Stein reports:

Russ Tice, an NSA intelligence analyst fired last January in the wake of revelations about the agency's warrantless eavesdropping program, is finally getting his chance to tell what he says are even more explosive secrets to Congress.

Tice has made a public issue for weeks out of the fact that no one in Congress has asked him to tell them what he knows about the NSA's domestic programs. Yesterday -- after a USA Today piece on the NSA programs made major waves -- the Senate Armed Services Committee asked him to come testify, he told CQ. The date will be sometime next week, according to Tice.

From the San Diego Union Tribune:

Federal agents Friday morning raided the home of Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, who stepped down this week from the No. 3 post at the CIA amid accusations of improper ties to a defense contractor named as a co-conspirator in the bribery case of former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham.

One agent told reporters that Foggo was not at the modest home in a quiet suburban neighborhood near the CIA's Langley headquarters and had not been detained. The agents refused to answer other questions about the raid, including what agencies were involved.

Update: CNN is reporting that Foggo's office at CIA headquarters was raided as well.

James Tobin, the biggest wig yet to fall for the 2002 New Hampshire phone jamming, is up to be sentenced next Wednesday.

Yesterday, the Justice Department requested a sentence of 18 to 24 months in the clink.

Tobin's lawyers have countered with a request for "probation, a fine, and community service." And, as is usually the case with such requests, to show the judge that Tobin deserves his mercy, Tobin's lawyers have wrung his life of every last good deed. So he conspired to deprive New Hampshirans of their right to vote. Did you know that he also leads a group of volunteers at a soup kitchen? Not bad for a political saboteur.

You can see the tally here. Or, if that whets your curiosity, you can read the whole thing over at The Senate Majority Project.

Update: For the sake of balance, here's the sentencing memorandum by the New Hampshire Democratic Party.

The comedy of errors continues involving the Shirlington Limo Company. As you may recall, the company -- said to have run lawmakers and hookers to and from Brent Wilkes' "poker parties" -- won a $21 million contract with the Homeland Security Department. But it's questionable whether they even qualified for consideration.

The contract was known as a "HUBZone" contract -- meant to aid companies verifiably located in neighborhoods with low development and high unemployment. There's just one problem: there's copious evidence that indicates Shirlington wasn't located in a HUBZone. The company claimed its office was at 425 8th St. NW, which is a residential apartment building.

A rival bidder for the DHS contract challenged Shirlington's HUBZone qualifications. In particular, the rival said, SLC:

- Is prohibited by the management company from conducting business at 425 8th St.; - Has no certificate of occupancy from the city for that address; - Has not been issued taxi licenses for that location; - Hasn't filed local tax returns for that location; - Has no trade name registered with the District; - Has no DC tax identification number; - Has a certificate of good standing from DC that does not show 425 8th St. NW as its address.

The Small Business Association, which oversees the HUBZone program, denied the complaint. Why? Too many of the charges, while possibly valid, were not included in his original complaint letter, wrote SBA official Calvin Jenkins. Therefore they could not be considered.

Here's the SBA's letter. Your tax dollars at work.

Rep. Katherine Harris (R-FL) is taking classes to get her concealed weapons permit reinstated.

Apparently, her license lapsed after she got it in response to receiving death threats over the 2000 election. (Something tells me if she's getting death threats now, it's not from the same people.)

Note also that her trip to the shooting range doubles as a pro-gun campaign event. From the Lakeland (Fla.) Ledger:

The visit to the gun range will double as a photo op, with media invited to broadcast images of Harris that could play well with gun rights advocates.

Foggo: "No Idea" CIA Contractor Was Actually Wilkes The CIA awarded accused briber Brent Wilkes a $3 million contract to deliver bottled water to its operatives in Iraq, via his company, Archer Logistics. Foggo -- Wilkes' best friend, and CIA logistics manager for the Middle East -- says now he had "no idea" Wilkes owned Archer Logistics. (NYTimes)

Read More →

It's not just House Appropriations Chairman Jerry Lewis (R-CA) who's under scrutiny:

Federal investigators are examining the activities of several members of the House Appropriations Committee, including Representative Jerry Lewis, the California Republican and chairman of the panel that wields influence over government spending, government officials said Thursday.

The officials said the inquiry was focused on the often-murky relationships among lobbyists, contractors and committee members, who are able to steer lucrative government contracts to favored vendors virtually free of outside oversight through a process known as earmarking....

The investigation is an expansion of the inquiry that began with the guilty plea of Randy Cunningham, a former Republican committee member from California.... of the contractors who paid bribes to Mr. Cunningham is Brent R. Wilkes, whose document processing company, A.D.C.S., won nearly $100 million in Pentagon contracts in part through the intervention of Mr. Cunningham.

The Appropriations Committee directed the Pentagon to award contracts to A.D.C.S., which stands for Automated Document Conversion Systems, even though the Pentagon did not request funds for the service.

One of Mr. Wilkes's lobbyists in Washington was Bill Lowery, a former congressman from San Diego who is close to Mr. Lewis.

That connection sparked the interest of government investigators, who are looking into Mr. Lowery's relationships with other members of the committee and his advocacy on behalf of dozens of clients with government business, government officials briefed on the case said.