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California Congressman Resigns, Admits to Taking Bribes

A Republican U.S. congressman from California has resigned after admitting he accepted $2.4 million in bribes from defense firms that he helped get government contracts.

Representative Randy "Duke" Cunningham pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, mail and wire fraud and tax evasion.

After entering his pleas in a San Diego courtroom, Mr. Cunningham held a news conference where he tearfully announced his resignation.

The congressman is a Vietnam War veteran and served eight terms in the House of Representatives, where he was a member of the powerful appropriations subcommittee that controls defense spending. The bribes he accepted came in the form of checks, cash, rugs, antiques, yacht club fees and vacation expenses.

Mr. Cunningham, 63, faces a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and a $350,000 fine. He will be sentenced in late February.