Former San Diego Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham has the memory of so many convicted defendants: "I didn't do anything wrong, it was my lawyers' fault. His claims are reported in the San Diego Union.
His former lawyers no longer represent him. Not hard to figure out why. After all, why would they when they explained the facts of life to a defendant who was absolutely certain to be convicted of accepting bribes. The evidence had been fully developed by Union reporters year ago, and in terms of public opinion the evidence was so crystal clear that his only hope was a plea bargain. The lawyers "couldn't be reached for comment." In fact, they probably can't comment on their discussions with their former client without violating the attorney-client privilege.
Duke accepted expensive gifts from contractors who benefitted directly from his votes. He lived on the boat of one of them, nicknamed "The Duke Stir," obviously named for the congressman. Oh, yes, he lived there free. He sold his Del Mar house so far over market that it caught the reporters' attention - he was able to use the inflated proceeds to move to prestigious Rancho Santa Fe. The buyer of his Del Mar home later sold it for a huge loss at fair market value, even though the real estate market had seen increased prices between the two transactions.
Let the poor guy rot in prison. Who cares that the government seizes his pensions to pay the unpaid back taxes on the bribes he accepted? I don't feel any more sorry for him that for Bernie Madoff - to sides of the same coin.
Duke claims he got sucked in because he couldn't say "No." The evidence shows that he solicited bribes because he deserved them. He was an arrogant bastard throughout his military and political careers, and now has gotten justice. He won't testify in accordance with his prior statements against one of the persons charged with having participated in his schemes - I assume he expects that person to rescue him financially for his newfound fidelity to his friend [more fidelity than he felt for the voters he represented.