By Dafna Linzer and Charles R. Babcock
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, May 13, 2006
Federal agents yesterday searched the CIA offices and Northern Virginia home of Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, the spy agency's No. 3 official who was forced to resign this week amid a widening criminal investigation into allegations of government corruption and bribery.
Officials inside CIA headquarters saw agents hauling away items from Foggo's seventh-floor suite, and neighbors outside his rented house in the Oakdale Park section of Vienna said officers, some wearing plastic gloves, placed materials in vans parked at the front and rear of the split-level brick home.
Aside from well-publicized espionage cases, veteran intelligence officers said they could not recall another time when FBI agents picked through offices at the CIA's Langley headquarters.
More than 30 agents from the FBI, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Internal Revenue Service and the CIA inspector general's office took part in the raids, according to Debbie Weierman, a spokeswoman for the FBI's Washington Field Office. Weierman said she could not comment further because affidavits describing the scope of the search were sealed.
CIA spokeswoman Jennifer Millerwise Dyck said the agency's inspector general and the FBI are jointly investigating the allegations of misconduct by Foggo and have "executed search warrants for his agency workplace and residence." She said, "The agency is cooperating fully with the Department of Justice and the FBI."
Foggo, 51, was hired in 2004 by Porter J. Goss, the former Republican congressman who was pushed aside last week as CIA director. The choice of Foggo to be the agency's executive director, whose portfolio is similar to that of chief operating officer, was greeted with deep skepticism within the agency at a time when senior intelligence officers were resigning to protest what they perceived as Goss's weak management style and partisan staff choices.
During his tenure, Foggo tightened the agency's publication rules and launched several probes of leaks to the media.
Earlier this year, however, he was placed under investigation by the CIA inspector general and federal prosecutors after allegations that he helped a high school friend, Brent R. Wilkes, obtain CIA contracts and improperly accepted vacation trips from Wilkes. Foggo has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged. His attorney, William G. Hundley, did not return calls yesterday.
Wilkes, a San Diego defense contractor, has been under investigation for allegedly bribing former congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-Calif.), who pleaded guilty to corruption charges last November and is serving a prison sentence of more than eight years. Wilkes has not been charged, but he was identified as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Cunningham probe.
Foggo was in his office late Thursday, officials said, but by yesterday morning he was barred from entering the CIA campus.
In a staffwide e-mail Monday, Foggo announced that he intended to step down but did not mention the widening probe against him. He emphasized, however, that he had no plans for an immediate departure, telling colleagues that he looked forward to seeing as many of them as possible over the coming weeks, according to several people who received the e-mail.
Intelligence officials close to Goss said yesterday that Goss had asked Foggo to resign early last week, several days before the White House announced that it was replacing Goss.
"Porter asked him to step down because of his concerns that the allegations against Foggo had become a distraction for the employees and had the potential to damage the agency's reputation," an intelligence official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The official said Goss had no knowledge that federal agents were preparing to issue search warrants at the time or even that his own resignation was only days away from being announced by President Bush.
Foggo spent 25 years in the CIA in several posts at headquarters and overseas, including Honduras; Vienna, Austria; and Frankfurt, Germany.
Federal investigators are trying to determine whether Foggo steered contracts to Wilkes while he served in Frankfurt in the years before being named the agency's executive director, sources have said. The FBI has already sent a team of investigators to Frankfurt. Hundley, Foggo's attorney, said earlier this week that his client "never knowingly" arranged for a CIA contract to be awarded to one of Wilkes's companies.
Hundley also said Foggo did not report family vacations with Wilkes as gifts because Foggo picked up his share of the expenses.
Foggo and Wilkes have been friends since high school in San Diego and attended poker parties in Washington, sometimes with members of Congress and other CIA officers, participants have said.
Nancy Luque, a Washington lawyer who represents Wilkes, said yesterday that she was "surprised" by the Foggo raids. "We feel confident, just as with [the search of] Mr. Wilkes' business, that no evidence of wrongdoing will be found," she said.
Last summer, as part of the Cunningham probe, federal agents searched Wilkes's home and office, as well as Cunningham's home and the office, home and boat of Mitchell J. Wade, a Washington defense contractor who has pleaded guilty to conspiring to bribe Cunningham.
Another Goss aide also had a relationship with Wilkes, according to financial disclosure statements. Brant G. Bassett, a former CIA officer who was a member of Goss's staff on the House intelligence committee, reported receiving a $5,000 "consulting fee" from a Wilkes company, ADCS Inc., in May 2000. Bassett has not commented on the fee.
Staff writer C. Woodrow Irvin and researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.