The Los Angeles Times continues on the U.S. attorneys story today, focusing on allegations that former San Diego top prosecutor Carol Lam was forced out because of investigations into Republican lawmakers.

Here’s how it starts:

WASHINGTON — The day news broke that a federal corruption probe in Southern California was spreading to Republican Rep. Jerry Lewis, the chief of staff to Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales fired off an e-mail to the White House about the federal prosecutor who had begun the investigation.

“The real problem we have right now is Carol Lam,” D. Kyle Sampson told White House Deputy Counsel William Kelley on May 11. “That leads me to conclude that we should have someone ready to be nominated 11/18, the day her 4-year term expires.”

Sampson’s e-mail did not mention Lewis (R-Redlands) or the corruption probe.

By the end of the year, Lam — the U.S. attorney in San Diego — had become one of eight federal prosecutors notified that they were being replaced.

Now congressional committees run by Democrats are investigating the terminations and exploring whether the Bush administration targeted Lam for political reasons or because she was lax in prosecuting border crimes, as some Justice officials have asserted.


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