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In a statement released this afternoon by his attorney, Brent Wilkes spoke of the “living hell” his life has become in the 18 months since the scandal surrounding former Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham arose.

In December, Wilkes’ wife, Regina, filed for legal separation from Wilkes, retaining custody of their two teenage children. In the statement, he indicated how the investigation and news reports have touched his personal life:

My family—immeasurably and irreversibly wounded by an 18 month Lam-led vendetta— has been the source of my strength , but nothing in life prepares you for the helpless feeling of trying to comfort a child who cries in anger or fear resulting from a false ‘news’ story or a cruel comment from a classmate. The overwhelming nature of the attack robs you of the ability to do that which a father and husband put first, to care for and comfort his family.

He called Kyle “Dusty” Foggo, who was also indicted yesterday on charges of conspiracy and defrauding the United States citizens of their right to honest services from a public official, “one of the most dedicated and honest public servants I have ever known.”

“The allegations concerning [Foggo] are as cowardly as they are false,” he said.

As for his relationship to Cunningham:

Let me also say loud and clear: I never bribed Duke Cunningham or anyone else. He never “demanded” or asked for a bribe from me, and neither he nor anyone else in Congress ever helped my companies with projects for any reason other than their merits.

Now, after 18 months, Wilkes said he is “battered but not broken.” And he turns to point an accusatory finger at outgoing U.S. Attorney Carol Lam and her prosecutors:

Because I refused to plead guilty 18 months ago, and to say I did something I did not do, they amped up the pressure on my employees, my family members and me. They intimidated and coerced people to say things that were not true and hid the truth from the grand jury. …

There’s no need to remind the San Diego community that these are the same prosecutors routinely accused of prosecutorial misconduct. The office has been led by a dismissed U.S. Attorney who has shown bad judgment, has previously pursued vendettas, and has set the tone at the top of an organization accused of witness tampering and manufacturing evidence. It is no accident, nor is it a surprise, that the indictments were rushed to the press 48 hours before her forced departure.

You can read the entire statement here.

KELLY BENNETT

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