The L.A. Times has the unmitigated gall to write an entire story about the timing of an e-mail regarding Carol Lam, without telling its readers that Lam was on a list of targeted prosecutors well before the Randy “Duke” Cunningham scandal ever broke. Worse, the paper misstates the facts to its readers to support its position.
On March 2, 2005, Kyle Sampson sent Harriet Miers a list (dated February 24) of prosecutors. The names of those targeted were struck out. Lam’s name was stricken out, meaning she had been targeted.
As I told you earlier this morning, the Cunningham investigation broke months later in June 2005, with the publication of this story. Even the lefty TPM Muckraker admits that Lam was targeted before that date. TPM Muckraker also admits that Carol Lam was not investigating Cunningham until the scandal was broken by a newspaper in June 2005, after Lam had been targeted.
This morning’s dishonest Times article nowhere makes this clear. Instead, it focuses on (and misquotes) a later e-mail from Sampson, misstating the facts in the process:
“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.”
. . . .
On May 11 — the month after Sampson told the White House counsel’s office that Lam was being targeted for dismissal — The Times reported that federal prosecutors in Los Angeles had begun an investigation into [Republican Rep. Jerry] Lewis.
This is outrageously wrong. Sampson’s e-mail to Harriet Miers, in which he targeted Lam, was sent on March 2, 2005 — more than a year earlier, and before the Cunningham scandal broke. The report about the investigation into Lewis was published on May 11, 2006. The paper implies Sampson targeted Lam in April 2006 — well after the Cunningham scandal had broken. This is utterly false.
It’s interesting how the Times repeatedly says “May 11” without reporting the year. It’s even more interesting that the paper doesn’t tell you that the timing actually proves that there was no connection between Lam’s targeting and the Cunningham case.
UPDATE: One more point: the supposedly suspicious timing of Sampson’s May 11 e-mail? The L.A. Times forgot to mention that he was responding to a request made the day before.