During her opening statement during this morning's hearing, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) revealed that the Justice Department had written to her last year and assured her that Carol Lam was doing a fine job prosecuting border cases -- even though they've said that the reason for Lam's firing was her poor performance on border cases.
From Feinstein's statement:
The Department has used the fact that I wrote a letter on June 15 to the Attorney General concerning the San Diego region, and in that I asked some questions: What are the guidelines for the U.S. Attorney Southern District of California? How do these guidelines differ from other border sections nationwide? I asked about immigration cases.Update
Here is the response that I got under cover of August 23, in a letter signed by Will Moschella. And I ask that both these letters be added to the record.
âThat office [referring to Mrs. Lamâs office], is presently committing fully half of its Assistant U.S. Attorneys to prosecute criminal immigration cases. Prosecutions for alien smuggling in the Southern District under USC sections 1234 are rising sharply in Fiscal Year 2006. As of March 2006, the halfway point in the fiscal year, there were 342 alien smuggling cases filed in that jurisdiction. This compares favorable with the 484 alien smuggling prosecutions brought there during the entirety of Fiscal Year 2005.â
The letter goes on to essentially say that Mrs. Lam is cooperating; that they have reviewed it and the Department is satisfied.
: You can read the letter here