U.S. Attorney Firing May Be Connected to CIA Corruption Probe

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Yesterday, McClatchy reported that new evidence indicates the firing of former San Diego U.S. Attorney Carol Lam could have been related to a CIA corruption probe. Dianne Feinstein, one of the Democrats spearheading the Senate investigation into the mass purge of eight U.S. Attorneys preoccupying Washington right now, said that Lam notified the Justice Department that she had “intended to execute search warrants on a high-ranking CIA official as part of a corruption probe the day before a Justice Department official sent an e-mail that said Lam needed to be fired.” The motivation behind the firings of these federal prosecutors has been central to both the House and Senate investigations of the cases (the DOJ has flip-flopped numerous times over why exactly the prosecutors were forced to resign) and the motivation behind Lam’s firing has been even more mystifying. As I wrote last week, new evidence revealed that Lam may not have been fired for her successful prosecution of Duke Cunningham, which was widely been believed to have been the reason she was forced to resign.

This week the DOJ is set to release more documents thought to have further information related to the firings and the Bush administration will announce whether it will assert its executive privilege and not allow Karl Rove, Harriet Miers and other officials to testify. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy has made clear that whether the administration asserts this privilege or not, the committee will subpoena them and that “he is ‘sick and tired’ of the administration’s changing rationale for the firings.”

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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