Reporter Seth Hettena points out that former MZM head Mitchell Wade is singing like a bird. His lawyers have fined a sentencing memo that argues he shouldn’t receive any prison time, because Wade is cooperating in an ongoing, far-reaching corruption investigation into five unnamed members of Congress, a list that unquestionably includes Rep. Virgil Goode. From the memo:
Finally, Mr. Wade assisted the government in connection with inquiries relating to the activities of at least five other Members of Congress, numerous executive branch employees and several private contractors. Mr. Wade provided substantial assistance to the government in connection with its efforts to determine whether other Members of Congress were engaged in corruption similar to that of Mr. Cunningham. He has discussed potentially-corrupt political contributions, fundraising activities and other congressional activities with prosecutors on at least six occasions between September 2005 and May 2006.
Two of the Members of Congress about whom Mr. Wade was questioned by federal investigators and provided information have been described in the press as under corruption-related investigation by the government. Three others have come under scrutiny for their receipt of straw contribution funds provided by MZM employees, and, in one instance, for the possible receipt of undisclosed gifts of food and wine. While none of these individuals has, as of yet, been charged with a crime, Mr. Wade’s cooperation made it possible for the government to reach conclusions about the role of various Members of Congress in connection with MZM political fundraising.
There’s been no further news about Goode’s role in this case for at least eighteen months, though I’ve periodically revisited the matter personally, trying to ascertain whether it was time to say that Goode probably hadn’t done anything wrong. But I’ve been reluctant to, in part because there’s been a drip-drip-drip of information about the whole MZM affair suggesting that the matter isn’t over. Based on this sentencing memo, it looks like that’s right—Goode not off the hook yet.