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May 04, 2007


Why was this story printed on the NYT editorial page, rather than the news section?

Anyone have a guess?


Thanks for explaining the Samoa and Tonga reference. I couldn't figure that one out. The other USA was McGregor Scott, EDCA. They missed redacting "Scott" from one email and "Greg" from another. Both names clearly refer to the same person and he fits the description Yang gives perfectly (military service, good looking family , federalist etc). Think about that. At various times last fall Sampson was trying to get rid of ALL of the USAs in California.

Most mainstream reporters have missed the boat on Yang. Folks need to check out the Aug. 29, 2006 email from Brent Ward, head of the DOJ's Obscenity Prosecution Task Force, to Matthew Friedrich, Chief of Staff and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department's Criminal Division, where Ward complains that his task force thus far has been a "failure."

According to several emails, Ward saw the failure as traceable to both the USAs in the field and to the FBI, both of which, he claimed, were refusing to follow the investigation and prosecution strategies against adult entertainment producers that had been developed in Washington.

"If we can't resolve it soon," Ward wrote to Friedrich, "the difficulty of getting USA [U.S. Attorney] cooperation in key districts is going to lead to a showdown with the FBI. Once the FBI realized that CDCA ["Central District of California" – referring to Yang] straight-armed us on our Orange County case (which has been hanging for 4-5 months) and once the WFO SAC [Washington Field Office Special Agent in Charge] and I sat in a meeting with Paul Charlton in Phoenix and heard him thumb his nose at us, the Bureau knew this obscenity initiative could be heading for disaster."

It is likely that at least three USAs -- Yang, Charlton and Daniel Bogden from Nevada -- were forced out over their refusal to prosecute enough porn to satisfy the administration's religious supporters.

Mark Kernes - Yeah, I'm sure it was porn that got Yang forced out, and not the Cunningham-Lewis-Wilkes-Foggo investigation.

I have said it before, and I will say it again... Ms. Yang received a $1.5 million "signing" bonus to go to work for that law firm. Law firms do not pay that kind of money for nothing. In this case, I suspect it was to get her off the case she was working.

As EW notes, from the tone of the email exchange with Sampson, Yang was an 'insider.' She had enough brass apparently that DoJ needed to treat her with kid gloves -- meaning, she was not someone they could just throw out on the street. I suspect that would have sent all kinds of signals out to the public.

So, Miers or Sampson or someone arranged a nice landing for her in a comfy Republican-oriented law firm where 1) she was off the Lewis case, and 2) she could be available for use in the future. Being a single mom, she has no desire to shoot herself in the foot at this point, or bite the hand that feeds her... Money wins again!

yo, emptywheel, I've been trying to list the base counts of obstruction of justice in this case. I wrote some of it down, but it mostly comes from memory

here's what I got so far:

#1 Lam firing, obstruction of justice in the investigation of foggo, wilks, lewis (and another repuglican)

#2 Iglasias firing, obstruction by wilson and dominichi in a prosecution of a local democrat

#3 schlozman, not fired, filed phony voter fraud charges against democrats

#4 Debra Wang, forced resignation, obstructed justice in the investigation of jerry lewis

#5 bogden firing, obstructed justice in the investigation of jim gibbons

#6 Charlton firing, obstruction of justice in investigation of renzi

#7 biskupic, not fired, filed phony corruption charges against Thompson (???)

that's the basic list

I just want to list the basic counts of obstruction that demonstrate the motive for the crime

how am I doing ???

additions are welcome

we need to start summerizing this into sound bits

Wo 13:54 -- in re: getting rid of ALL the CA USA's -- perhaps this explains why Gerald Parsky was so furious about the Ryan and Lam dismissals. They'd already been stepping on his toes and perhaps he knew about it?

MK 13:58 -- boy, almost sounds logical when you put it that way.

Sojourner 14:15 -- agree with you, but what were they buying? That's a crapload of money even in the Republican world; think of all the direct mail campaign lit or push polling one can buy with 1.5 mil, after all, for a yield far greater than the investment. In what were they investing? Methinks Yang (as well as all the other USA's and FUSA's/AUSA's) need to be asked some key questions:
-- when was the first time someone asked you about changing your role?
-- who was it that asked?
-- in what context did they ask?
-- how did you get your current role (if you left USA office)?
-- did Karl Rove or Harriet Miers ever speak to you? were their names or offices ever mentioned?
-- how did you get this job in the first place?
-- were you ever praised by DOJ or WH for any certain attribute during your tender? What was it, if any?

freepatriot 14:30 -- how many counts of the same offense must happen to form a pattern sufficient for RICO to be invoked?

I think it's plausible that Sampson at least indirectly made clear to Yang that she needed to move on before the powers that be forced her to resign, and that concurrently, but without Yang's actual knowledge, Miers, Rove, Mehlman, et al., made sure a top Republican firm made Yang an offer that was too lucrative to refuse. The combination of ego, talent, experience, need and bureaucratic savvy meant that Yang would jump. That's consistent with the Rovian process and the need to stall the most important investigations in Yang's office.

Others less well-connected than Yang with the Sampson/Goodling mafia received less consideration. But then we don't know how often the Rove/Yang model worked before these most recent firings. Though if it was used in Minneapolis, it didn't work out very well; the removed USA took several months to find another slot after he left office.

The bonus Gibson Dunn paid Yang could be recovered through several sources. One of them might be via Rep. Lewis' ability to use campaign funds to pay his legal bills. Do white shoe firms still send bills marked "for services rendered", like a Deborah Palfrey invoice?

yo, Rayne, that number would be TWO

I did a little digging at the Cornell Law School web page

“pattern of racketeering activity” requires at least two acts of racketeering activity, one of which occurred after the effective date of this chapter and the last of which occurred within ten years (excluding any period of imprisonment) after the commission of a prior act of racketeering

mr dominichi and ms wilson qualify by direct enumeration:

§ 1503. Influencing or injuring officer or juror generally

(a) Whoever corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, endeavors to influence, intimidate, or impede any grand or petit juror, or officer in or of any court of the United States, or officer who may be serving at any examination or other proceeding before any United States magistrate judge or other committing magistrate, in the discharge of his duty, or injures any such grand or petit juror in his person or property on account of any verdict or indictment assented to by him, or on account of his being or having been such juror, or injures any such officer, magistrate judge, or other committing magistrate in his person or property on account of the performance of his official duties, or corruptly or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, influences, obstructs, or impedes, or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede, the due administration of justice, shall be punished as provided in subsection (b). If the offense under this section occurs in connection with a trial of a criminal case, and the act in violation of this section involves the threat of physical force or physical force, the maximum term of imprisonment which may be imposed for the offense shall be the higher of that otherwise provided by law or the maximum term that could have been imposed for any offense charged in such case.

I LOVE the innertubes

I think the dominichi-wilson case puts us thru ALL of the hoops. It's directly prohibited in the RICO Act, and it's part of a larger pattern of extortion and obstruction of justice

if we pass the legal hurdles, it's official, the repuglican party is a corrupt criminal organization

let the RICO summerizations begin

I had to read RICO the hard way the first time


I'm not sure that is Scott. My first understanding was it was Scott Schools, who was selected to replace Ryan, and then Greg someone from the East coast who IS still at BATF.

But then, I don't have my documents.

btw, the Yang case would qualify under section 1510 of the RICO Act

(a) Whoever willfully endeavors by means of bribery to obstruct, delay, or prevent the communication of information relating to a violation of any criminal statute of the United States by any person to a criminal investigator shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

Yang would be a good witness for the prosecution here

the question is, who do we charge for the actual bribery ???

My thanks for your outstanding investigative journalism and your dedication to it. You are simply one of the best. We need so many more like you.

Thank you, ew.

Rayne @ 14:34

The money was to buy her silence and continued loyalty -- that was why I commented about her "brass." I have even played with the idea that she could have thought she was worth that amount (don't we all??), and did not realize she was being "bought" but I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt too much ;-)

earlofhuntingdon | May 04, 2007 at 14:44

You said it SO much better and eloquently than I did:
"concurrently, but without Yang's actual knowledge, Miers, Rove, Mehlman, et al., made sure a top Republican firm made Yang an offer that was too lucrative to refuse. The combination of ego, talent, experience, need and bureaucratic savvy meant that Yang would jump. That's consistent with the Rovian process and the need to stall the most important investigations in Yang's office."

Do any of the commentors have actual, personal experience with whether big firms offer sign-on bonuses (especially to former federal or state prosecutors)? Are sign-on bonuses usually offered to prospective new partners of a firm?


The conversation goes like this:

1. I'm sending some missionaries to your home
2. Info re McKay is very helpful


2. Great. He'd be terrific in that job...
1. Could you make them single....

PS: heard you all are looking at [long redaction] job. I know him well....


1. Yes. What's your home address?
2. And re: John, it's highly unlikely that we could do bett in Seattle
3. Re Scott, do I detect some reservation?


1. Good luck trying to get past the guards
2. He's a great soldier
3. Absolutely not. I think he's a comer. Got a great background, including military service and good looking family, federalist etc. I also think he's interested in running in California and I've been trying to get him broader exposure. This would be great for ATF (who is beleagured and need a shot in the arm), would give Greg great exposure and put more good ones in the pipeline.

PS: will call some corp folks...


I think that clearly shows that Scott and Greg are the same person. From McGregor Scott's bio page:

Mr. Scott was born in Mountain View, California and raised in Eureka, California. He is married to fellow attorney Jennifer Urbanski Scott and is the proud father of three young boys. His hobbies are reading (history & biography), golf, exercising, college football and basketball, and hunting.

He is a Past Chairman of the California District Attorneys’ Association Rural Counties Committee and a past member of the California District Attorneys’ Association Board of Directors.

Mr. Scott is a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army Reserve with 21 years service as an infantry officer. He commanded an infantry company on the streets of Los Angeles during riot duty in 1992, and is a graduate of the Command and General Staff College.

And this just up:

Monica Goodling, at the time an aide to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, sobbed for 45 minutes in the office of career Justice Department official David Margolis on March 8 as she related her fears that she would have to quit.


Goodling may have signaled in a letter yesterday -- sent by her lawyers to the Justice Department -- that she is eager to tell Congress her side of the story.

The letter noted that the Justice Department, which is conducting its own inquiry into whether Goodling improperly considered the political affiliation of applicants to be prosecutors, is powerless to block the congressional grant of immunity.


Apparently, even the closed-door testimony is giving our congress-critters a view into the messy situation at DoJ, and enough information to pry up a few more rocks... although manhole covers over a blocked sewer might be a better analogy.

Why was Goodling so fearful of losing her job? Wouldn't going to jail weigh more heavily upon her? Or was she upset that she botched a task from Rove by being too eager in its undertaking? Surely a buzz-saw can take what it dishes out!

Anyway, if she does talk, under oath, it will be interesting to see how many attorneys, on all levels, were dismissed because they couldn't pass her test for righteousness... and how long this has been going on, and who else besides the infamous eight, and what other tools besides bribery, threats, and sheer leverage they've used to remake the Department.

If ever a housecleaning is done, we'll need to know the entire scope of the infestation.

Sojourner 15:28 -- oh, I'm sure there was some of that, classic hush money. But what else was purchased? What did Yang offer that none of the other USA's offered? Why didn't the other USA's get the same deal? How did Iglesias and Cummins and their like end up getting their reputations piked, and Yang didn't? Some of this is timing, but we're talking about a criminal enterprise that's been able to take possession of and control our DoJ; had more of these folks had offers they couldn't refuse, we might not ever have known about this situation.

What I want to know -- and I hope that Waxman asks -- is whether Parsky had been approached about finding spots for all CA-USA's. Or was he approached about any one of them alone, like Yang. $1.5 mil is simply too much money not to dig deeper.

hauksdottir 20:19 -- VERY interesting. She's going to crack like an egg, not enough spine or moxie for the kind of work to which she was tasked. They knew it and lawyered her up heavily because they don't want her to appear in front of any committee.

IMO, jail's a lot safer than pissing off Rove if you're a Repug; he'd do more damage to your career in the Republican world than a stint in jail. She'd never work in the Repug sector ever again. Someone who's entire life is built upon the idea of working as a lawyer in that world might be shattered if they were to find themselves blacklisted and forced to work for independents or Dems (perish the thought...).

I'm also rather incommunicado (on the road in Southern Nevada/Utah), but just wanted to say I wrote recently about Yang and the Palm Springs BIA, which it turns out is responsible for a huge chunk of the revenue of all trust lands in the US, namely because the Agua Caliente own much of the land in and around Palm Springs and lease it out to non-Indian developers. The BIA office is under investigation for corruption and mismanagement, with billions gone missing. Yang would have been responsible for the investigation. Whomever replaces her (apparently, her first AUSA, George Cordova, while interim, is not interested in the permanent appointment) will have to deal with the mess. Perhaps related, perhaps not - the Agua were one of the six tribal clients of Abramoff.

One of the things which bugged me about Iglesias is that he refused to prosecute BIA officials in the NM office who were implicated by an investigation by the DoI Inspector General; three officials were taking gifts and favors from an Indian Trusts accounting firm contracting with BIA, where the accounting firm then received more work from Interior. Of course, not prosecuting that case didn't save Iglesias in the long run.

PS: will call some corp folks regarding myself later this month and will share other info.

I saw some discussion of Yang's line here but not what I see in this sentence. We know Yang is a loyal Bushie. We know she is a single mom and possibly in need of security. She may/may not know that Miers has her sights set on removing her. It is obvious that Sampson and Yang have discussed her job search. Most may read the part "will share other info" as a reference to Sampson. I don't think so. To me this looks like a smoking gun. She is going to meet with Gibson/Dunn firm. She knows that they rep Jerry Lewis. She goes in with a small file that had been developed on the connections see now sees with Lewis, Abramoff, Foggo, and Wilkes. It's a no brainer. She would know how to discuss the case without stepping too far over the line and they would know better than ask too many questions until the fix was in. "Will share other info" doesn't refer to Sampson at all. Does anyone else think this may be worth looking into.

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