Friday, April 20, 2007

Did Republicans pay Debra Yang $1.5 million to stop the investigation of Rep. Jerry Lewis?

James Risser is asking this question over at dKos now. Regular readers here will remember that I was asking this question previously here and here last month. Mr. Risser has tracked the story of Debra Yang back a way. Here is part fo what he dug up regarding Ms. Yang:
"Here is her tangled story, an iceberg-tip view of the Rep. Jerry Lewis scandals which she was investigating as a US Attorney, and the treacherous firm of Bush Crime Family consigliere in Los Angeles who serve as Defense Council for Rep. Lewis, the same firm where Yang currently receives her blood-money.

We will soon enough get to her official bio from the firm that paid her $1.5 million, Gibson Dunn in Los Angeles--the same firm that, coincidentally enough, was defending Rep. Jerry Lewis of California. Let me say that again so there is no confusion: She was in charge of the case against Rep. Jerry Lewis. He is being defended against these charges by Gibson Dunn in Los Angeles. Ms Yang received $1.5 million from the firm defending Rep. Lewis, Gibson Dunn, to leave the Justice Department where she was prosecuting Rep. Lewis. And, remarkably, this is the second time that Jerry Lewis has hired a former US Attorney to handle his defense. Thanks to the fine work of TPMuckracker from June 2006, we find that Lewis did the same thing with Robert Bonner, a member in good-standing of the Bush Crime Family since Daddy Bush made Bonner his Drug Czar in the 1990s through the present!
His lead lawyer is Robert Bonner, a man with a long, impressive CV -- featuring one clincher: Bonner used to run the U.S. Attorney's Office that's now investigating Lewis.

Who better to handle an investigation concerning the revolving door between Lewis' office and that of his lobbyist pal Bill Lowery than a man who's switched sides himself?

Bonner headed up the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California from 1984 through 1989 before he went on to serve as a judge in that district. That same office is conducting the investigation of Lewis.
Mr Bonner is a partner at Gibson Dunn in their Los Angeles office in the same practice group as Ms Yang where he has recently been called to do some work for the Bush Crime Family. Once you are in, you only get out at death. But, the money is good, if you can stand it: In 2006, Rep. Lewis rang up a $971,000 legal bill; that sort of money adds up after a few years.
From 2003 through December 2005, Mr. Bonner served as the first Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the agency of the Department of Homeland Security responsible for managing, controlling and securing the United States' borders, while facilitating global trade and travel.

Following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Mr. Bonner created the unprecedented Container Security Initiative (CSI) and the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) – both continue to revolutionize the security and more efficient movement of trade around the world. At the same time Mr. Bonner focused on securing international supply chains from the terrorist threat, he also pursued and implemented a national border control strategy to secure America’s borders. This strategy consists of a centralized command structure, rapid response capability, and a defense-in-depth, while relying upon highly-trained personnel, strengthened infrastructure and improved technology.
This is how the San Bernardino County Sun announced it on June 13, 2006:
Robert Bonner, former head of the U.S. Attorney's Office Central District of California, leads a group of attorneys that include former Santa Monica congressman Mel Levine, former federal Solicitor General Ted Olson and Joe Warin of the Los Angeles- based firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

Lewis' new legal team was confirmed Thursday by another new Lewis hire, spokeswoman Barbara Comstock, a former Department of Justice spokeswoman. Comstock also worked for I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff.

Lewis and his ties to lobbyist and former San Diego congressman Bill Lowery are part of a federal criminal investigation that has reached San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Numerous local government agencies have been subpoenaed for records regarding Lewis and lobbying firm Copeland Lowery Jacquez Denton & White.

Lewis, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, which oversees $900 billion in federal outlays, has not been charged with any crimes or wrongdoing.

Bonner's past clients include former Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss, who served three years in federal prison for tax evasion.
This is not a nice story, but the facts support it.

What the White House and the Department of Justice have been doing as part of the politicization of the U.S. Attorneys is to pressure them to bring the kinds of bogus cases against Democrats that Biscupic did to Georgia Thompson of Wisconsin or to buy out those U.S. Attorneys who were getting too close to corrupt politicians. Then at least some of the ones who would not cooperate or allow themselves to be bought off were fired in the Pearl Harbor Day Massacre.

The source of this conspiracy is in the White House, which is why Bush is yelling "Executive Privilege" and trying to stretch it to cover documents that were intentionally not using the official system of emails to avoid legal retention requirements.

Expect the Bush White House to fight any efforts to get White House personnel to testify, or to get them to turn over significant documents.

No comments: