Disgraced San Diego Congressman Randy Cunningham did just that today. Cunningham was caught taking bribes to steer military contracts to a particular company. Today he pled guilty to charges of bribery and resigned from congress. What Cunningham did was awful, and I suspect that he is just the tip of the iceberg with all of the Abramov scandals coming to fruition. But I must honor the way that Cunningham admitted his guilt today. No hedging, no blaming Democrats or vindictive D.A.'s. He said what he did and took it like a man:
I am resigning from the House of Representatives because I've compromised the trust of my constituents.Shame on you, Congressman, for what you did, but at the same time, I hope and pray that your second step goes well.
When I announced several months ago that I would not seek re-election, I publicly declared my innocence because I was not strong enough to face the truth. So, I misled my family, staff, friends, colleagues, the public -- even myself. For all of this, I am deeply sorry.
The truth is -- I broke the law, concealed my conduct, and disgraced my high office. I know that I will forfeit my freedom, my reputation, my worldly possessions, and most importantly, the trust of my friends and family.
Some time ago, I asked my lawyers to inform the U.S. Attorney Carol Lam that I would like to plead guilty and begin serving a prison term. Today is the culmination of that process. I will continue to cooperate with the government's ongoing investigation to the best of my ability.
In my life, I have known great joy and great sorrow. And now I know great shame. I learned in Viet Nam that the true measure of a man is how he responds to adversity. I cannot undo what I have done. But I can atone. I am now almost 65 years old and, as I enter the twilight of my life, I intend to use the remaining time that God grants me to make amends.
The first step in that journey is to admit fault and apologize. The next step is to face the consequences of my actions like a man. Today, I have taken the first step and, with God's grace, I will soon take the second.