Former San Diego U.S. Attorney Carol Lam will deliver the opening remarks on behalf of the six recently ousted prosecutors who are scheduled to testify before Congress tomorrow, TPMmuckraker.com is reporting.
The site also has a full copy of the Lam’s remarks. It’s long, so go to the site to check out the full remarks. Here’s a snippet:
As United States Attorneys, our job was to provide leadership in each of our districts, to coordinate federal law enforcement, and to support the work of Assistant United States Attorneys as they prosecuted a wide variety of criminals, including drug traffickers, violent offenders and white collar defendants. We did that with great success. As the first United States Attorneys appointed after the terrible events of September 11, 2001, we took seriously the commitment of the President and the Attorney General to lead our districts in the fight against terrorism. We not only prosecuted terrorism-related cases, but also led our law enforcement partners at the federal, state and local levels in preventing and disrupting potential terrorist attacks. We did that with great success.
Like many of our United States Attorney colleagues across this country, we focused our efforts on international and interstate crime, including the investigation and prosecution of drug traffickers, human traffickers, violent criminals and organized crime figures. We also prosecuted, among others, fraudulent corporations and their executives, criminal aliens, alien smugglers, tax cheats, computer hackers, and child pornographers.
Every United States Attorney knows that he or she is a political appointee, but also recognizes the importance of supporting and defending the Constitution in a fair and impartial manner that is devoid of politics. Prosecutorial discretion is an important part of a United States Attorney’s responsibilities. The prosecution of individual cases must be based on justice, fairness, and compassion – not political ideology or partisan politics. We believed that the public we served and protected deserved nothing less.
Toward that end, we also believed that within the many prosecutorial priorities established by the Department of Justice, we had the obligation to pursue those priorities by deploying our office resources in the manner that best and most efficiently addressed the needs of our districts.
And one more:
Recently, each of us was asked by Department of Justice officials to resign our posts. Each of us was fully aware that we served at the pleasure of the President, and that we could be removed for any or no reason. In most of our cases, we were given little or no information about the reason for the request for our resignations. This hearing is not a forum to engage in speculation, and we decline to speculate about the reasons. We have every confidence that the excellent career attorneys in our offices will continue to serve as aggressive, independent advocates of the best interests of the people of the United States. … While the members of this panel all agree with the views I have just expressed, we will be responding individually to the Committee’s questions, and those answers will be based on our own individual situations and circumstances.
Rep. Darrell Issa, a Vista Republican and fierce Lam critic, also said he will be testifying before the panel. He offered this statement today:
As U.S. Attorney, Carol Lam compiled a number of notable achievements including the successful prosecution of former Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham. These achievements, while significant, did not excuse the fact that her office neglected border crimes – particularly prosecuting the foot soldiers of alien smuggling cartels.
For three years I wrote Ms. Lam, the U.S. Attorney General, and the President asking that more be done to prosecute those who traffic in human beings. Only someone who doesn’t believe that trafficking human beings isn’t a serious crime could look at Carol Lam’s record and say she was removed for no good reason.