Transcript of Carol Lam’s written response

May 3, 2007

Josh Marshall on TPM yesterday linked to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s document giving Carol Lam’s written answers to followup questions on her testimony.

Lam, you’ll recall, was the US Attorney for the southern (San Diego) district of California, who was among the eight fired on Gonzales’s Day of Infamy. She had successfully prosecuted the Duke Cunningham case, and was following the threads of corruption. As we learned from the first DoJ document dump, when the threads reached Kyle “Dusty” Foggo, the campaign to oust her accelerated.

Because the Senate’s document was put on the Web as a series of page images in pdf, I spent a couple of hours transcribing her testimony into text format, which can be searched and copied and pasted.

The whole thing is chock full of refutations of Administration talking points. TPM has already highlighted the most surprising and potent answer, to the Democrats’ question 20. It reads in part:

After a follow-up call with Mike Battle a few days later, I requested additional time to ensure an orderly transition in the office, especially regaridng pending investigations and several significant cases that were set to begin trial in the next few months.
On January 5, 2007, I received a call from Michael Elston informing me that my request for more time based on case-related considerations was “not being received positively,” and that I should “stop thinking in terms of the cases in the office.” He insisted that I had to depart in a matter of weeks, not months, and that these instructions were “coming from the very highest levels of the government.”

This tells us, first, that Lam’s departure was being pushed, and pushed hard, directly from the White House – by Rove if not by the President. It tells us, second, that the firing was not driven by concerns about misplaced policy priorities. Had it been, there could have been no objection to having Lam stick around a few months to provide continuity on existing cases. It was not driven by concerns about management style, because she was not proposing to remain as a manager.

It also explodes one of the prominent excuses bandied about by the Justice Department: that the whole firing exercise was simply an attempt to give some promising eventual candidates for judgeships a bit of juice on their resumes. Elston made it clear that, whatever the merits of the incoming USA, the “very highest levels of the government” wanted above all else to get Carol Lam out of operation.


One comment

  1. This is a very salient excerpt from the papers of Lam’s responses.

    I, too, have been wondering how it is that this topic suddenly fell off the radar after Gonzo did his rendition of “Give My Regards To Broadway” last week.

    Anyway, you have cut through the bs, and congratulations!

    The QUESTION is, how can the Senate and Congress let them get away with this?

    In the middle of a huge corruption investigation?

    I just called Schumer’s office. Maybe everybody else should, too.

    He likes to get out in front on an issue like this where he can look clever, sincere, and hardworking for the PEOPLE.

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