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Collins: US Attorney Hit List as Early as 2005?

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U.S. Attorney Hit List As Early As 2005?


House of Games


What’s the Motive?


By Michael Collins
“Scoop” Independent News
Washington, D.C.

Carol Lam was one outstanding United States Attorney. She nailed down one of the biggest political corruption cases in recent history with a guilty plea from former Republican Congressman Randal “Duke” Cunningham in November, 2005. His crimes included conspiracy to commit bribery, mail and wire fraud.

The San Diego Republican admitted to taking over $1.0 million alone from San Diego defense contractor Brent Wilkes. The jailed Cunningham is now serving an eight year sentence for this and other crimes. In one of her last official acts, Lam indicted Wilkes for bribing former CIA senior executive “Dusty” Foggo, who was also indicted. These crimes allegedly took place over a period as far back to 2002.

A recently released Department of Justice email carried by Talking Points Memo Document Collection raises an interesting question. The message is dated”3/7/2005” from leoleonard to MaryBeth Buchanan:

Leo Leonard, the sender, is apparently this Republican activist. He’s listed by Media Transparency as the Director, Lawyers Division of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies.

Mary Beth Buchanan, the presumed recipient of the memo, is the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania. She was a John Ashcroft protégé. Her role at Justice was central. Her bio states that, “At the request of the Attorney General, Ms. Buchanan also served from June 2004 until June 2005 as the Director of the Executive Office for United States Attorneys.”

Think Progress and TPM.com blogger cici1414 quickly suggested that the memo from leoleonard to MaryBeth was indeed about replacing Lam with attorney Mary Walker, a hard right Republican.

If so, what was so hot that Lam was in the neoJustice crosshairs as far back as the date of the Email, March 7, 2005.

Why Target a Successful U.S. Attorney

Why not if she’s sending sheep in to a mine field filled with deadly secrets?

The McClatchy Washington Bureau noted:

On May 11, 2006, Kyle Sampson, then Gonzales' chief of staff, sent an e-mail to deputy White House counsel William Kelley, asking Kelley to call to discuss "the real problem we have right now with Carol Lam that leads me to conclude that we should have someone ready to be nominated on 11/18, the day her 4-year term expires."

It doesn’t get any clearer than this. Sampson refers to “the real problem we have right now with Carol Lam.” But this was May 2006. We’ve got a March 2005 email to interpret, if in fact replacing Lam is the subject of the email.

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