G. Gordon Liddy, you have some new Watergate competition. Just when you think the ReTHUGs have hit a new low comes news that the FBI is investigating whether former Rep. Randall "Duke" Cunningham (R-CA), who plead guilty last Fall to taking $2.4 million in bribes in exchange for doling out defense contracts, may have been plied with prostitutes in D.C.'s Watergate hotel as part of the corruption scandal involving two contractors. The FBI is also investigating whether other members of Congress and their staffs may have also accepted the services of hookers, as well as hotel rooms, limousines, cash and other freebies, reported The Wall Street Journal. Cunningham was sentenced to eight years and four months.
The two contractors in the bribery case are ADCS, Inc. owner Brent Wilkes and MZM, Inc. president Mitchell Wade. Wilkes is at the center of this new revelation of prostitution and politicians. He's known to have run a multi-bedroom hospitality suite, first in Washington's infamous Watergate Hotel and then in the Westin Grand near Capitol Hill. Named in government documents as "co-conspirator No. 1," Wilkes gave Cunningham more than $630,000 in cash and favors in order to receive millions of dollars in federal defense contracts.
The Watergate Hotel is forever etched in the public memory as the site of the May 28, 1972 break-in at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee, which ultimately lead to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. Let's hope the mounting White House and GOP scandals lead Bush down a similar path soon.