Texas prosecutors investigate ties between DeLay, lobbyist

NATION DIGEST

Nation Digest

December 14, 2005|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

WASHINGTON -- Texas prosecutors in the criminal case against Rep. Tom DeLay revealed in subpoenas made public yesterday that they were investigating ties between DeLay and a defense lobbyist who is at the center of a bribery scandal that prompted another House Republican to resign from Congress last month.

The subpoenas sought documents from the lobbyist, Brent Wilkes, a California businessman whose lawyers have confirmed that he is one of four unidentified co-conspirators listed in the criminal charges against former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, the California Republican who pleaded guilty to taking at least $2.4 million in bribes.

Wilkes was close to several Republican members of Congress, including Cunningham and DeLay, a Texas Republican, who traveled as Wilkes' guest in a private jet he partly owned. There is no accusation in the subpoenas of any other tie between DeLay and Cunningham, who is facing a long prison sentence.

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