Act I of today's congressional hearing marathon on the administration's firing of federal prosecutors takes place in the Senate. Four of the prosecutors will be testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee: San Diego's Carol Lam, Seattle's John McKay, New Mexico's David Iglesias and Arkansas' Bud Cummins. The hearing has just started, and we'll be posting running updates.
For those readers who want to watch, the hearing is being broadcast on C-Span 3 and webcast on the Senate Judicary's website.
Update: The first revelation of the hearing comes from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who says that in August of last year, in response to her letter questioning U.S. Attorney Carol Lam's office's performance prosecuting immigration cases, she received a letter from the Justice Department supporting Lam, saying that the DoJ was "satisfied" with Lam's performance.
Update: David Iglesias just gave a devastating rendering of his conversation with Sen. Pete Domenici. We'll get the video up as soon as we can. Details here.
Update: Bud Cummins and John McKay just corroborated the McClatchy report that Michael Elston, the chief of staff to Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, communicated a threat to the USAs that if they continued to stir up controversy, more information would come out. Details and video soon. McKay called the call "hugely inappropriate." Bud Cummins has a copy of the email describing the call, which will be released as part of the hearing.
Update: John McKay also revealed that Rep. Doc Hastings' (R-WA) chief of staff called him to question him about an investigation. Details here.
Update: David Iglesias just recounted his conversation with Michael Battle, the DoJ official who recently resigned and who made the calls to fire the prosecutors on December 7th. Iglesias said that he asked Battle why he wasn being fired. Battle replied, according to Iglesias: "I don't know and I don't want to know. All I know is that this came from on high."
Update: Here's a copy of the email that U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins gave to the committee outlining his conversation wtih Michael Elston, the chief of staff to Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty.
Update: We've begun uploading video from the hearing. See here and here.
Update: Maybe the biggest bombshell during the hearing was admissions from Cummins, McKay and Iglesias that they would have opened an obstruction investigation based on the phone call to Cummins from Michael Elston, the chief of staff to Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, if they were still in office.