Hopefully Goldy will forgive me for two pot-related posts in the past 24-hours, but Paul Kiel has the latest silliness from the Duke Cunningham corruption scandal:
In a filing today, prosecutors allege that John Michael, who’s been indicted for laundering Cunningham’s bribes and lying to investigators, hid incriminating documents by keeping them with what prosecutors call “a stash of personal entertainment materials and paraphernalia.” You can read the filing here.
The prosecutors don’t identify exactly what those items are, but note that “Michael has expressed extreme embarrassment” over them and that “their nature objectively supports his perspective” (read: he has good reason to be embarrassed). They say that they’ll identify the materials at a court hearing if need be.
Prosecutors want to introduce evidence of Michael’s embarrassing “stash,” in order to prove that he knew the Cunningham documents were, in their own way, as embarrassing. That he kept documentation of Cunningham’s sketchy mortgage details in a place where he also stored “materials he did not want to anyone else to learn about” proves, they write, that he knew he was up to no good.
It’s important to remember that Duke Cunningham’s son went to jail for this:
Randall Todd Cunningham was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in federal prison yesterday for marijuana smuggling, after his father, the Republican congressman from Escondido, made a tearful plea for leniency.
The term was half the mandated five years and was supported by the prosecutor. In imposing sentence, Judge Reginald C. Lindsay noted that the 29-year-old Cunningham had no prior convictions and had provided information that led to the arrests of higher-ups in the smuggling operation.
It was the first time Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham had come to the court in Massachusetts since his son and several others were charged with smuggling 400 pounds of marijuana from the San Diego area to Lawrence Airport on Jan. 17, 1997.
Of course, Duke Cunningham has always been a staunch drug warrior:
Crucial to winning the war on drugs are education and community campaigns. So on Thursday, my House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Youth and Families will team up with Government Reform Oversight to send a strong message to Americans: Drugs kill. We will hear from health and community experts on what can be done to reverse the drug crisis. And we will also examine ways to marshal community leadership and resources to start local anti-drug coalitions.
Finally, I believe we must revive in word and deed the simple phrase, “Just Say No,” coined by Nancy Reagan in the 1980s. While cynical elites once joked about its effectiveness, I believe it played a significant role in reducing drug use.
That editorial appeared a few months before his son was arrested.
UPDATE: In comments, RonK doubts that the “stash” is drug-related. He could certainly be right, as “paraphernalia” could refer to items of an embarrassing sexual nature as well. I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough as the trial progresses.