I’m trying to pull together as many of the details in the new transcripts about how Tommy Kontogiannis has cooperated (I was going to spell it "kooperate") with the government. The information is actually conflicting–Tommy K wants to portray himself as a good American who was just seeking out powerful Congressman to give intelligence to. But the descriptions of the AUSAs and FBI agents of his cooperation in this matter make it sound like it’s a limited thing.

Here’s K’s description of his reasons for bribing Cunningham.

The Court: The only thing I have a question about is itsays that you believe Mr. Cunningham was in a position to do you somegood. Is that why you were involved in this? You hoped through hisofficial position as a U.S. Congressman that he could advance somepersonal interest of yours?

The Defendant: It was never personal interest, your Honor. Myinterest is United States, basically, and he was in a position that Icould reach and tell them information that I was gathering from allover the world.

The Court: What were you going to get out of this, Mr. Kontogiannis?

Mr. O’Connell: Can I have a moment, your Honor?

The Court: Yes. My question is, what did you hope to get out of all this?

The Defendant: From the first case to bring as much information as Icould to assist us, especially after the 2001 situation. Second, it isgood to have a powerful Congressman that if you ever need anything, youcan ask him to help you or assist you in something you might need.

The Court: That’s really what I am getting at. Did you believe thatyou were buying influence with someone who was in a position to helpyou by involving yourself in these things that have been recited today?

The Defendant: Definitely.

I’m going to come back to this passage–it really makes me wonder how many of the rest of the Congressmen on the House Intelligence Committee are getting bribes from people who want to "tell them information that I was gathering from allover the world." Porter Goss, of course, had to step down as DCI because of his ties to Cunningham’s corrupt buddies. And Rick Renzi has some legal problems of his own.

Now, Judge Burns describes K as either an informer or someone tied into an intelligence network (or likely, both). Exposure of his cooperation would endanger him and others.



Marcy Wheeler aka Emptywheel is an American journalist whose reporting specializes in security and civil liberties.