Back on March 5th I wrote a lengthy post
in which I explained that the defenses offered up by Rep. Wilson (R) and Sen. Domenici (R) actually weren't that different from the charges being levelled against them. This became clear when you reviewed all the facts then becoming available
and reading between the lines of their carefully crafted public statements. When these two now-disgraced members of Congress said they were reacting to constituent complaints about US Attorney David Iglesias's slow rate of prosecutions, what they really meant was that prominent Republicans back in New Mexico kept complaining that Iglesias wasn't bagging enough Democrats.
That was fairly obvious then with a little close analysis and informed speculation. Now we have the concrete details in Sunday's stories from the Times
Republican players wanted their Bush-appointed US Attorney to indict more Democrats. The head of the party took the Iglesias problem up with Karl Rove on multiple occasions. "He's gone," Rove assured him at the White House late last year. They got Rep. Wilson and Sen. Domenici to lean on him too. And when he didn't come through with the indictment of Manny Aragon in time to guarantee Wilson's reelection, he was, as Rove put it, gone.
We're now well past the point where anyone can pretend that Iglesias wasn't fired because he refused to use his office to advance the interests of the New Mexico Republican party by indicting Democrats. The evidence, at this point, is overwhelming and beyond dispute. Indeed, it's not even being disputed, as you can glean pretty clearly from tomorrow's stories in the Times
and from McClatchy
. Rather than continuing to deny it, state party leaders are giving on the record interviews in which they make the case for the rightness of their attempts to get Iglesias fired for not indicting enough Democrats.
We know something very
similar happened in Washington state.
Now let's cut to the chase, the big story at the heart of all of this: San Diego and the firing of Carol Lam.
Given what we know about New Mexico and Washington state, it simply defies credulity to believe that Lam -- in the midst of an historic corruption investigation touching the CIA, the White House and major Republican appropriators on Capitol Hill -- got canned because she wasn't prosecuting enough immigration cases. Was it the cover? Sure. The reason? Please.
I'm not sure Lam would have been canned simply for prosecuting Cunningham. His corruption was so wild and cartoonish that even a crew with as little respect for the rule of law would have realized the impossibility of not prosecuting him. But she didn't stop there. She took her investigation deep into congressional appropriations process -- kicking off a continuing probe into the dealings of former Appropriations Committee Chairman Jerry Lewis
. She also followed the trail into the heart of the Bush CIA. Those two stories are like mats of loose threads. That's where the story lies.