Note to Gonzales on CIA Prosecution Preceded Firing of U.S. Attorney
The U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia also had been notified, because Shirlington Limo Co., which allegedly had shuttled the prostitutes to the party, was based in Virginia.
On May 10, the U.S. attorney's office sent the urgent report to Gonzales and McNulty. The following day, the Los Angeles Times reported that the Cunningham investigation had expanded further to include another California congressman, Rep. Jerry Lewis.
That same day, Sampson asked the White House counsel's office to call him about "the real problem we have right now with Carol Lam." The following day, the FBI executed search warrants on Foggo's home and office.
Wilkes and Foggo were indicted on February 14one of Lam's last gestureson corruption charges. The 11-count indictment alleged that Wilkes had treated his friend to private jet flights and luxurious vacations, and that he had a job offer waiting for his best friend when he left the CIA.
Some have speculated that Lam was fired because her investigation had targeted so powerful a congressman as Lewis. Other sources have said that Wilkes, through his high-powered Republican friends and his CIA ties through Foggo, was exerting enormous pressure on the White House to get rid of Lam and somehow end the probe.
Wilkes allegedly gave Cunningham millions in bribes and favors, including $525,000 to pay off a mortgage on Cunningham's new home and access to prostitutes. In exchange, Cunningham helped Wilkes obtain lucrative Pentagon contracts. Similarly, in exchange for lavish giftsincluding a $44,000 one-week stay at a Scottish castleprosecutors alleged that Foggo pressured his subordinates to give lucrative CIA contracts to Wilkes and his company ADCS Inc.
Between 1995 and 2005, Wilkes and his associates spent at least $600,000 on political contributions and more than $1 million on lobbying prominent Republican lawmakers. Among other things, Wilkes hired the Alexander Strategy Group to the tune of more than $600,000 to lobby for lucrative defense contracts. That firm had direct access to then House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who was indicted by a Texas grand jury on alleged campaign finance shenanigans. DeLay said the charges were politically trumped up. Subsequently, two of his aides were indicted in the Jack Abramoff Indian casino lobbying scandal.
Put simply, the Cunningham probe had slowly extended its ever growing tentacles into the highest reaches of the Republican Party and now suddenly had expanded to target Foggo at the CIA.
"The phone calls would have been flying," says a former Justice official who has worked closely with the CIA. "The CIA would be jumping up and down and putting pressure to stop it or slow it down."
Many intelligence sources say the concern would not have been over Foggo personallybecause he was generally "despised"but that the CIA would have had an institutional interest in keeping itself out of any scandal.
"There would have been a two-pronged attack," says the former Justice official, "to protect the agency and to get rid of Lam." Even though Foggo had quit the agency, he still had many friends there who viewed themselves as being at risk.