This week, a federal judge ordered Cunningham briber Brent “The Enigma” Wilkes to go to jail, but once again Wilkes remains a free man while he appeals his case.
At this point, it’s a pretty safe bet that Randy “Duke” Cunningham, sentenced to more than eight years in prison, will be released from prison later this year to begin his new life in a cabin in the Ozarks before Wilkes really has to make sure he never, ever drops the soap in the prison shower.
Judge Larry Burns sentenced Wilkes to 12 years in prison back in February 2008. He served a few months and then the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals freed him on bail so he go off and play poker and steal from his employee pension funds to pay his living expenses.
Enough is enough, prosecutors said. But for those who now how to manipulate it, the justice system serves to delay and mitigate punishment rather than deal it out.
So it’s become a sad, familiar pattern for Brent-o:
He gamed the system as a defense contractor sucking on the taxpayer’s teat and flying around in private jets with the help of Randy “Duke” Cunningham, a congressman he corrupted with hookers, lavish vacations, and Hawaii scuba trips.
Today, a team of court-appointed (read: taxpayer funded) team of attorneys are delaying his day of reckoning, essentially buying Wilkes freedom with money lifted from the pockets of his victims.
It’s really just another form of welfare, but Wilkes is the worst kind of welfare bitch: a man who espoused a Republican ideology that sneered at big government and “socialism” and wrapped itself red, white and blue fantasies of a country that no longer exists, if it ever did, where the playing field was level, the rules were fair and hard work and determination won the day.
Defense contractor Brent “the Enigma” Wilkes was convicted in 2007 and sentenced to 12 years in prison for bribing former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham with hookers, lavish vacations and the like, but his court-appointed lawyers have done a phenomenal job of keeping the guy out of prison so he can play poker and fart around.
He’s due for a hearing in a few days and the government calls his bluff in this footnote to a motion:
The government tips its hat to defense counsel who have adopted clever stratagems designed to prolong Wilkes’ day of reckoning almost five years since his 2007 conviction. Nevertheless, this latest attempt to prolong and confuse what should be a rather simple conclusion to this lengthy end-game should not be countenanced by this Court. Enough is enough.
Free on bond, Brent “The Enigma” Wilkes is spending time at the poker table these days, but his scandalous past is featured in a new attack ad in Missouri’s Senate race.
Wilkes is referred to in the ad by Missouri Democrat Robin Carnahan he “defense contractor convicted of bribery” who provided private jet trips for her GOP opponent, Rep. Roy Blunt, the former House whip.
“One of the examples we touch on in the ad is the example of Brent Wilkes, the California defense contractor and lobbyist,” said Mindy Mazur, campaign manager for Robin Carnahan, in a conference call with journalists Wednesday. “Blunt – while he was there – helped whip the vote in favor of one of his companies.”
Mazur says, “Eight days later, Congressman Blunt received $14,000 from people associated with Brent Wilkes.”
While she says “he spent over 100,000 in legal fees related to the Wilkes case,” Mazur wasn’t sure if he had actually done anything illegal. “I would have to say the more we’ve learned about what congressman blunt’s been up to in washington, the more we’ve asked the same question [of legality].”
Wilkes was sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2008 following his conviction on charges of bribery, money laundering and fraud. He was freed while his case is being appealed to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.