Josh Marshall delivers some knowledge about Mitchell Wade, a defense contractor and Duke Cunningham briber whose first contract in government was to screen the President’s mail for anthrax, despite having no real expertise in that arena.
This is a known briber receiving a sweetheart contract from the Executive Office of the President. And who’s in the middle of it? John Doolittle and his wife. Mitchell Wade and Brent Wilkes worked closely together to bribe or otherwise give recompense to Duke Cunningham in exchange for contracts. They appear to have done something similar with Doolittle.
Julie Doolittle was working at (Ed) Buckham’s offices in 2002 when Buckham introduced Brent Wilkes to her husband. Federal contracts for his flagship company, ADCS Inc., were drying up, partly because the Pentagon had been telling Congress it had little need for the company’s document-scanning technology. So Wilkes was trying to get funding for two new businesses.
One was tied to the 2002 anthrax scare, when tainted letters were sent to Capitol Hill. Wilkes’ idea was to have all Capitol Hill mail rerouted to a site in the Midwest, where ADCS employees wearing protective suits would scan it into computers and then e-mail it back to Washington.
He called his proposed solution MailSafe – similar to the names of several anti-anthrax companies launched at that time – and began vying for federal contracts, even though the company had little to its name other than a rudimentary Web site.
The House Administration Committee, on which Doolittle sat, oversees the congressional mail system. Doolittle told his colleagues about MailSafe and introduced them to Wilkes, but the project never got off the ground.
The project failed in the House Administration Committee but succeeded in the White House. The question is, did Doolittle have a role in introducing executive staffers to Wade and Wilkes? Did he receive any financial reward?
And the larger question, of course, is the fact that there are documented instances of Doolittle receiving money in contributions from Brent Wilkes, if not Wade. When Carol Lam opened her investigation into Wilkes and Dusty Foggo in May 2006, Doolittle was clearly likely to be implicated in that chain if the matter was investigated closely enough. And right at that time, the Justice Department made a deal to deny Lam resources and keep her on “a short leash.” While she was able to indict Wilkes and Foggo, the investigation never went any further, and Lam was fired.
Two weeks after then-U.S. Attorney Carol Lam ordered a raid on the home and offices of a former CIA official last year – a search prompted by her investigation of now-imprisoned former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham – higher-ups at the Justice Department privately questioned whether they should give her more money and manpower.
“There are good reasons not to provide extensive resources to (Lam),” Bill Mercer, acting associate attorney general, wrote to Kyle Sampson, who was chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales until he resigned a couple of weeks ago […]
The day after this Mercer missive, Sampson directed Mercer in an e-mail to have a “heart-to-heart” with Lam about “the urgent need to improve immigration enforcement in San Diego.”
“Put her on a very short leash,” Sampson wrote. “If she balks – or otherwise does not perform in a measurable way by July 15, remove her.”
A month later, Justice Department higher-ups were referring to Lam derisively, saying she “can’t meet a deadline” that her production was “hideous” and that she was “sad.”
Five months later, Lam was told she was being fired.
There’s good reason to believe that the resources were withheld somewhat deliberately, to make a plausible case that Lam couldn’t handle her immigration workload. This is nonsense, and Paul Kiel does an excellent job of calling it nonsense. The truth is that immigration was a red herring; Lam was fired because of her investigations, which (if unchecked) would lead not only into the FBI but into the Executive Office of the President himself, and which would have picked up a lot of Congressional flotsam along the way.
And one of the chief pieces of flotsam was John Doolittle. He has disqualified himself for any future holding of public office. We need to continue to drain this swamp of corrupt sleazebags who view government as their own personal feedbag. Charlie Brown is a man of extreme integrity who would restore honor to that seat in Congress. He deserves our support.