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Reyes & 12 others in House subpoenaed to testify in bribery trial

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_6932028 Reyes subpoenaed to testify in bribery trial By Erica Werner / Associated Press Article Launched: 09/19/2007
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 19, 2007
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      Reyes subpoenaed to testify in bribery trial
      By Erica Werner / Associated Press
      Article Launched: 09/19/2007 12:00:00 AM MDT

      WASHINGTON -- Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, former
      House Speaker Dennis Hastert, House Republican Whip
      Roy Blunt and 10 other members of Congress have been
      subpoenaed to testify in the trial of a defense
      contractor charged with bribing jailed former Rep.
      Randy "Duke" Cunningham.

      All of the lawmakers said they would not comply, on
      the advice of House attorneys. The House general
      counsel's office is preparing to move to quash the
      subpoenas after failing to get a clear explanation of
      why the lawmakers' testimony is needed, according to
      the chief of staff of subpoenaed Rep. Darrell Issa,

      The subpoenas were issued by lawyers for contractor
      Brent Wilkes, who faces trial Oct. 2 in San Diego on
      25 counts of bribery, fraud, money laundering and
      conspiracy in connection with his relationship with

      Cunningham, a Republican who represented a California
      district in Congress, is serving an eight-year prison
      term after pleading guilty in 2005 to taking $2.4
      million in bribes from Wilkes and others in exchange
      for millions of dollars in government contracts. As
      part of his plea deal, Cunningham agreed to cooperate
      with prosecutors.

      Wilkes' lawyer, Mark Geragos, could not be reached by
      phone Tuesday for comment.

      A spokeswoman for Reyes, the House Intelligence
      Committee chairman, confirmed he had received the
      subpoena and referred callers to the office of the
      general counsel for the House. Reyes had no comment.

      In addition to Reyes, Issa, Blunt, R-Mo., and Hastert,
      R-Ill., Geragos is seeking testimony from:
      # Rep. Jerry Weller, R-Ill.
      # House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton,
      # House Appropriations defense subcommittee chairman
      John Murtha, D-Pa.
      # California Republican Reps. Duncan Hunter, John
      Doolittle, and Jerry Lewis. Hunter headed the Armed
      Services Committee, and Lewis headed the
      Appropriations Committee in the last Congress.
      # Republican Reps. Peter Hoekstra and Joe Knollenberg
      of Michigan. Hoekstra led the House Intelligence
      Committee in the last Congress, and Knollenberg headed
      the House Appropriations transportation subcommittee.
      # House Appropriations interior subcommittee chairman
      Norm Dicks, D-Wash.

      Wilkes' lawyers are also seeking documents from
      Hunter, Lewis, Reyes, Murtha and Skelton.

      A number of the subpoenaed lawmakers received campaign
      donations or other favors from Wilkes as he sought to
      curry connections in Washington and expand his
      contracting business. Wilkes was a generous donor who
      raised at least $100,000 for President Bush's 2004
      re-election bid and provided flights on his private
      jet to lawmakers, including Blunt and former House
      Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas.

      No other lawmakers have been implicated in the
      Cunningham scandal, and it was not immediately clear
      what information Geragos was after.

      El Paso Times reporter Chris Roberts contributed to
      this report.
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