03/16/2007 09:29 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Even Issa Now Questions Purported Immigration Reason For Lam Ouster

It is good to see the wing-nuts organizing a circular firing squad. Today, right-wing bloggers and a right-wing Congressman are failing to get their stories straight on the firing of San Diego United States Attorney Carol Lam.

A post by right-wing blogger Patterico (linked to by Tom Maguire as guest blogger on Instapundit) claims that this LA Times article is wildly wrong because of some apparent date confusion relating to whether the removal of Lam, ostensibly for being weak on immigration, was actually because of her prosecution of Republican Congressman Randy "Duke' Cunningham for corruption.

The Times article is indeed a little weak on its timeline, but an article in the Los Angles Daily Journal, a legal publication (subscription required)*, reveals that Patterico proves too much. Yes, there was whining about Lam's lack of immigration prosecutions as far back as 2004, but nothing was done about it, possibly because Lam's immigration work was increasing, until she started putting Republican Congressmen in jail.

The Daily Journal story quotes Republican Congressman Darrell Issa, who originally credited Lam's ouster to the immigration issue. Now he is not so sure. He asks whether the DOJ used "three years of inquiries by members of Congress [about immigration] as an excuse" to oust Lam in 2006. Issa does not come out and say that the Cunningham prosecution or the impending prosecution of GOP Rep. Jerry Lewis was the real reason, but he speaks of "mixed messages" and does not rule GOP protection out as the real reason.

The point is that it was the prosecution of Cunningham and the fear of more to come that resurrected the immigration issue as a convenient excuse.

Actually, the Lewis prosecution was being handled in Los Angeles by U.S. Attorney Debra Wong Yang, who also left in late 2006. Ms. Yang, who reportedly received $1.5 million to join Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, the firm of Bush water carrier Theodore Olsen, denies that she was part of the purge and says it was a personal financial decision. TPM suspects otherwise.

Given the egregious facts of the Cunningham case, the successful prosecution would have won Lam immunity from removal in any administration that gave a damn about corruption in government or the appearance of a vindictive termination. But these folks are way beyond that.

*reprinted here on How Appealing (scroll down to March 16th if necessary)