Lost In The Subpoena Shuffle

My, Henry Waxman was busy yesterday, wasn’t he?

The White House has turned over to a House committee about 200 pages of documents related to a contract with a company run by a man who pleaded guilty to bribing a congressman.

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform had planned to vote on a subpoena for the documents. That proved unnecessary after the White House delivered the documents Tuesday evening, said Karen Lightfoot, spokeswoman for the committee’s chairman, Rep. Henry Waxman (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif.


At issue is a $140,000 contract awarded to MZM Inc. in July 2002 by the Executive Office of the President. MZM was run by Mitchell Wade, who is cooperating with federal prosecutors. He pleaded guilty in February 2006 to bribing Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, R-Calif., in exchange for more than $150 million in government contracts for MZM.


When he requested information about the contract in March, Waxman noted “serious irregularities” with other MZM work and said his inquiry was part of an ongoing investigation into waste, fraud and abuse in government contracting.

The value of some of those contracts has subsequently been questioned.

Waxman noted in a letter to the White House counsel this month that published reports said the MZM contract was for office furniture for the vice president’s office.

However, Waxman wrote in the letter that his staff had heard from an official in the counsel’s office who “stated that he had been unable to identify any contracts for furniture within the vice president’s office, but that he had heard ‘rumors’ about a different contract ‘related to WMD’ that raised ‘certain sensibilities.'”