Police raid CIA office as corruption scandal grows

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The Independent US

It is the scandal within the CIA scandal - a lurid tale of poker parties, booze and prostitutes involving congressmen, dodgy businessmen and senior officials from America's disaster-prone spy agency.

The imbroglio came to light with the sacking of Porter Goss as CIA director. It now threatens yet more turmoil at the agency as the Senate embarks on what are sure to be torrid confirmation hearings next week for General Michael Hayden, Mr Goss's designated successor.

It all stems from the continuing federal corruption investigation into the former San Diego congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham, a former Vietnam fighter ace now serving a lengthy jail term for taking $2.4m (£1.3m) in bribes.

Among those who bestowed favours on Cunningham was a defence contractor named Brent Wilkes, identified by the FBI as a "co-conspirator No 1" - although he has not been charged.

Since high school, Mr Wilkes has been a good friend of Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, until this month the CIA's executive director. Law enforcement officials last night executed search warrants on Foggo's house and office. The FBI is investigating whether Mr Foggo helped push CIA business Mr Wilkes' way - as Mr Cunningham did through his Pentagon contacts. Mr Foggo has denied any impropriety. He has admitted that. in the 1990s. he used to attend poker parties at the Watergate hotel thrown by his old school buddy, attended by CIA men and Congressmen, among them Cunningham.

They appear to have been festive occasions where the beer and whisky flowed freely. Now the FBI is probing whether Mr Wilkes had limousines ferry in prostitutes for the extra entertainment of his guests.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the FBI has now interviewed women working at Washington-area escort agencies.

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