updated 12/1/2005 2:44:18 AM ET 2005-12-01T07:44:18

The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee has asked committee attorneys to review former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham’s work on the panel to ensure he didn’t improperly influence committee actions or decisions.

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Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., ordered the review after learning of Cunningham’s guilty plea Monday to charges of corruption and tax evasion for taking $2.4 million in bribes, mostly from two defense contractors, in exchange for steering government business their way, said committee spokesman Jamal Ware.

Hoekstra also ordered Cunningham’s access to classified information terminated immediately, Ware said Wednesday.

“He believes these concerns are incredibly serious, and that there has to be certainty that everything was done aboveboard on the Intelligence Committee,” Ware said. He said, however, that Hoekstra did not believe Cunningham had improperly influenced committee business.

Cunningham, R-Calif., resigned from Congress after reaching the guilty plea. He was in his eighth term and had served since 2001 on the Intelligence Committee, and since this year as chairman of the panel’s subcommittee on terrorism and human intelligence.

Committee lawyers will review committee bills and programs over which the panel has oversight authority for signs of improper involvement by Cunningham, Ware said.

Also, Hoekstra is requesting a meeting with Justice Department officials to discuss their investigation of Cunningham’s ties with the defense contractors, Mitchell Wade of MZM Inc. and Brent Wilkes of ADCS Inc.

The news of Hoekstra’s probe came as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., released a letter to House Speaker Dennis Hastert requesting creation of a bipartisan committee to investigate Cunningham’s handling of classified information.

Lee Blalack, Cunningham’s attorney, said his client would cooperate with any congressional inquiry, but only if federal prosecutors allow him.

Cunningham is free as he awaits sentencing Feb. 27. He faces up to 10 years in prison. In his guilty plea he admitted accepting cash, antiques, a Rolls Royce, mortgage payments on a mansion and boat, and other favors in return for helping the contractors gain valuable defense work.

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