(With apologies in advance for the convoluted nature of all this, but hey, that is what you get with breaking news reports on blogs as opposed to with well crafted regular news stories)...
The real problem is that Sen. Dianne Feinstein is a hypocrite and that the LA Times turned itself into an irresponsible attack machine for the Left.
AN E-MAIL MESSAGE HERETOFORE (APPARENTLY) UNNOTICED PROVIDES FURTHER SUPPORT FOR THOSE CONCLUSIONS ABOVE. Let me explain:
I refer to the most explosive of all the allegations in this whole brouhaha over the fired US Attorneys, namely the notion that a memo from DoJ Chief of Staff Kyle Sampson on May 11, 2006, referring to the "real problem" with San Diego USA Carol Lam, was a reference to Lam's prosecution of corrupt Republican U.S. Rep. Duke Cunningham -- and, in a prominent March 15 LA Times story, somehow to a supposedly related investigation of Appropriations Chairman Jerry Lewis.
Amazingly enough, the New York Times was just about the only major news outlet to get the story correct, noting in a big March 20 story that "interviews with law enforcement officials in California and an examination of e-mail released by the Justice Department... suggest that the 'real problem' mentioned in the message was related instead to complaints about her handling of immigration." (NOTE: There are a number of paragraphs represented by that ellipse, but it is absolutely faithful to the context.)
But the LA Times story, and a slew of national stories that followed, made much of the fact that a big development in the Cunningham case occurred just the day before Sampson's memo, and gave hugely prominent play to charges by Feinstein, Democratic Congressional campaign chief Rep. Rahm Emanuel, and others, that the memo amounted to a desire for payback because Lam continued to pursue leads related to Cunningham. Even worse, the LA Times and numerous others followed its lead to suggest that the real goal was to protect Lewis. As even the LA Times noted in that story, but buried and put in a context that discredited this basic fact, was that Lam had absolutely nothing, nada, zilch, to do with the investigation of Lewis. That investigation was entirely run under the auspices of an entirely different US Attorney, the one in
Yet Adam Cohen of the New York Times, among others, followed the LA Times by claiming (March 20) that Lam "was investigating a second" congressman. No, she wasn't.
All along, the Justice Department had explained that its "real problem" with Lam was her repeated failure to focus on prosecuting immigration-related cases. But as the NYT rightly noted, the e-mails show a lengthy, extensive trail of concerns about Lam's enforcement of immigration expressed and pushed hard by Feinstein herself, along with GOP Rep. Darrell Issa, among others. In other words, when Feinstein was accusing Sampson of having been trying to improperly intervene in an ongoing criminal matter, she knew, absolutely knew, that DoJ had been at that very time responding to her OWN concerns about Lam's lax immigration enforcement. And she knew that it was the Los Angeles USA, not Lam, who was investigating Lewis.
Now, FINALLY, I get to the new part of this report: It now turns out that on the very day Sampson sent the e-mail, May 11, 2006, the "SD California Congression Delegation [was] scheduled" for a meeting with DoJ officials "re immigration enforcement." So says a May 3, 2006 e-mail written by Ronald Tenpas, an official in the office of the Deputy Attorney General.
In short, not only were Feinstein and Issa bombarding DoJ with complaints about Lam's lax immigration enforcement for weeks before and after Sampson wrote the "real problem" memo, but the delegation actually was scheduled to meet with DoJ officials on the very day, May 11, that the memo was sent. In short, there is a ton of evidence that DoJ's explanation (re immigration) was accurate, and not a single shred of evidence to indicate that Sampson had any concerns whatsoever, not even a smidgen, with the Cunningham/Lewis investigations.
(By the way, Lewis still maintains his innocence, and no charges have been filed, and charges probably won't be filed -- there seems to be almost no "there" there.)
How, then, could Feinstein, with a straight face, refuse to accept the DoJ explanation that Lam's problem was with immigration enforcement, when she, Feinstein, knew that the explanation was accurate -- and when, of course, as we have seen, Lam was not investigating Lewis?
Questions: Did Feinstein attend the May 11 meeting?
Maybe somebody should subpoena Feinstein to find out about the internal deliberations in her own Senate office about whether or not to issue her scurrilous smear of Kyle Sampson.
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