WASHINGTON — The infamous Watergate Hotel is again at the center of political intrigue.
"We have received subpoenas for documents," says Watergate Hotel Assistant General Manager Josh Graham. "We have complied, but I cannot confirm names of individuals or companies that were part of those subpoenas."
FBI agents are investigating what happened in the hotel's posh suites, which defense contractor Brent Wilkes turned into party suites for politicians and CIA officers. There was poker and cigars, and the FBI wants to know if there were prostitutes, too.
It's all part of a growingongoing investigation into corruption in defense and intelligence contracts, which already has sent former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham to prison and, legal sources say, may threaten others in Congress and the CIA.
"Well, sex, spies, money, entertainment — it's a classic Washington scandal," says Roberta Baskin with the Center for Public Integrity.
At the center of the investigation is defense contractor Wilkes, a lifelong friend of the No. 3 official at the CIA, Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, who's in charge of agency contracts. Foggo acknowledges attending some of Wilkes' poker games but denies there were any prostitutes.
The CIA is now investigating whether Foggo improperly helped Wilkes get a $2.4 million contract. Foggo denies any wrongdoing.
Also playing poker was Cunningham, who recently pleaded guilty to accepting bribes from four co-conspirators, including Wilkes, who has not been charged and denies wrongdoing.
Sources close to the investigation say a former associate of Wilkes has told prosecutors that Wilkes provided prostitutes to Cunningham. That associate has pleaded guilty in a related case and is cooperating with prosecutors in a bid for a lesser sentence. Wilkes strongly denies any involvement with prostitution. Cunningham's lawyer had no comment.
The FBI has questioned Shirlington Limousine about whether it arranged prostitutes for Cunningham or any other member of Congress. The company denies any involvement with prostitutes.
Former U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson says he played poker at the Watergate suite a few times. He says he certainly never saw any prostitutes or anything untoward.
"The nearest lawbreaking I saw when I was there was that they were smoking cigars on a non-smoking floor," says Wilson. "It was an ordinary stag poker game, a lot of cigar smoke, a lot of whiskey."
But Cunningham is now cooperating with the FBI, raising the stakes for former partners and colleagues.