Some talking points are so good they just bear repeating.
As we've pointed out before, in brainstorming for reasons that the U.S. attorneys were fired, one Justice Department spokesperson suggested that
since three of the U.S.A.s were from border districts, "you could make the connection that DoJ is unhappy with the immigration prosecution numbers in those districts."
The Justice Department took that ball and ran with it. From The Washington Post
Another document--internal Justice Department "talking points" about the fired prosecutors--shows that Justice officials used identical language to describe alleged shortcomings in immigration enforcement by two U.S. attorneys.
About Carol S. Lam of San Diego, the memo said: "Regardless of what was done by the office in this area, she failed to tackle this responsibility as aggressively and as vigorously as we expected and needed her to do." The same sentence was used for David C. Iglesias of New Mexico, except that "her" was replaced with "him."
Those talking points seem to have been assembled by Monica Goodling, who forwarded them
to department official William Moschella the day before he testified before Congress last month.
But in her zeal to demonstrate Lam's failure to take that responsibility aggressively and vigorously, Goodling seems to have gotten too creative. One of the other talking points, for instance, is that 19 members of Congress "complained about her 'catch and release' policies." The only problem with that, of course, is that her office didn't have such a policy.
Catch and release refers to the Department of Homeland Security's policy of releasing captured aliens with a notice to appear before an immigration judge. It has nothing to do with U.S. attorneys.
People in the Justice Department understand that. For instance, in the documents released today is a discussion among Justice Department officials about just that point. Back in April of last year, the officials were discussing how to respond to criticisms of Lam by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and other Republicans. "I know the 'catch and release' thing is a DHS issue" wrote one. "The issue of catch and release is an administrative [issue], which is to say - non criminal context. The [United States attorney offices] don't get involved in this part of immigration enforcement," wrote another.