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
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