…and then there were 10

March 22, 2007

From Josh Marshall TPM:

Feinstein asks the question everyone’s been wondering about (from the AP)…

Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Tuesday she wants answers about the departure of the former U.S. attorney in Los Angeles, who resigned last October before the Justice Department’s dismissal of eight other U.S. attorneys sparked controversy.

“I have questions about Debra Yang’s departure and I can’t answer those questions right at this time,” Feinstein, D-Calif. and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told reporters in response to a question. “Was she asked to resign, and if so, why? We have to ferret that out.”

Debra Wong Yang went to work for a private law firm, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, and has said she left of her own accord.

A Gibson Dunn spokeswoman issued a statement on Yang’s behalf Tuesday night. “Debra Wong Yang’s decision to leave her post as U.S. attorney to pursue a private practice was entirely her own, and she had many options to choose from. We are delighted that she chose Gibson Dunn,” it said.

You’ll remember that the Duke Cunningham investigation spread out in several directions. One was into the CIA. Another was on to Capitol Hill. The big fish there was Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA), then Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. The Lam investigation in San Diego sparked the Lewis investigation. But the Lewis investigation itself was and is being run out of the US Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles. And that brings us to Debra Yang.

And from The Hill:

…Gutierrez and Abramoff had discussed removing Black from his position, “need[ing] to get this guy sniped out of there,” according to one of the lobbyist’s e-mails. Black had already indicted several members of Gutierrez’s administration and was starting to look at Abramoff.

Black’s case may get another look from Congress. Reps. George Miller (D-Calif.) and Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) wrote to both the Senate and House judiciary committees last week, asking them to add Black’s demotion to their broader investigation of the U.S. attorney scandal.

In a statement made to The Hill, Miller repeated his calls for another investigation.

“The letter from Fred Black is another good example of why it’s necessary to re-open the investigation into Black’s demotion and to closely examine whether Abramoff or anyone working with him tampered with anti-corruption efforts in the U.S. attorney’s office,” he said.

“This letter is indicative of Fred Black’s perspective, which leads one to wonder why the Justice Department removed him, when he seems to be doing his job,” said Guam Del. Madeleine Bordallo (D) in a statement…



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