Sources familiar with the situation say Cunningham, a California Republican who pleaded guilty Nov. 28 to taking $2.4 million in bribesincluding a yacht, a Rolls Royce and a 19th-century Louis-Philippe commodefrom a defense contractor, wore a wire at some point during the short interval between the moment he began cooperating with the feds and the announcement of his guilty plea on Nov. 28.
The identity of those with whom the San Diego congressman met while wearing the wire remains unclear, and is the source of furiousand nervousspeculation by congressional Republicans. A Cunningham lawyer, K. Lee Blalack, refused to confirm or deny the story, and wouldn't say whether Cunningham will implicate any other members of Congress. The FBI is believed to be continuing its probe of defense contractors involved in the Cunningham case. An FBI spokesman declined comment. Asked whether Cunningham, an ace Navy fighter pilot decorated for his service in Vietnam, had worn a wire, the spokesman said the response from a higher-up was, "Like I'd tell you."
With reporting by Brian Bennett/Washington