House panel to investigate possible steering of contracts

Nation Digest

December 01, 2005|By LOS ANGELES TIMES

WASHINGTON -- The House Intelligence Committee plans to investigate whether Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, a California Republican who pleaded guilty this week to bribery and tax evasion, abused his position on the panel to steer contracts to favored companies, the committee's chairman said yesterday.

Rep. Peter Hoekstra, a Michigan Republican, said the committee would examine whether Cunningham had influenced spending on classified programs to benefit companies that offered him bribes, as well as whether he had used his access to classified information to give such companies an advantage.

The 63-year-old congressman, a decorated Vietnam War veteran and former Top Gun pilot, pleaded guilty Monday to taking $2.4 million in bribes and evading more than $1 million in taxes.

He also announced that he was resigning his House seat representing an affluent district in San Diego County.

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