Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Carol Lam Angle

The Paul Krugman op-ed on the Justice Department purging is excellent.

Money quote.

Still, a lot of loose ends have yet to be pulled. We now know exactly why Mr. Iglesias was fired, but still have to speculate about some of the other cases - in particular, that of Carol Lam, the U.S. attorney for Southern California.

Ms. Lam had already successfully prosecuted Representative Randy Cunningham, a Republican. Just two days before leaving office she got a grand jury to indict Brent Wilkes, a defense contractor, and Kyle (Dusty) Foggo, the former third-ranking official at the C.I.A. (Mr. Foggo was brought in just after the 2004 election, when, reports said, the administration was trying to purge the C.I.A. of liberals.) And she was investigating Representative Jerry Lewis, Republican of California, the former head of the House Appropriations Committee.

Was Ms. Lam dumped to protect corrupt Republicans? The administration says no, a denial that, in light of past experience, is worth precisely nothing. But how do Congressional investigators plan to get to the bottom of this story?

Krugman may have a point. Lam's termination smells of saving Republicans from indictments.

The top FBI official for San Diego said that Lam's dismissal would jeopardize several ongoing investigations. "I guarantee politics is involved," special agent in charge Dan Dzwilewski told the paper. He did not speculate further.

“It will be a huge loss from my perspective,” Dzwilewski said.

Democrats are planning to question Karl Rove about Lam's firing.

Lam successfuly prosecuted Republican Randall "Duke" Cunningham. That is the kind of thing that gets someone a promotion. Not fired.

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