Did Debra Wong Yang get $1.5 million to stop investigating Rep. Jerry Lewis?

Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 08:30:48 AM PDT

Another Bush scoundrel is Debra Wong Yang, another US Attorney who was not fired, and did not stay...no, she resigned. Did she do so out of a deep sense of outrage over the Bush Administration's treatment of the Judiciary Branch? Did she resign to go to Peace Corps or to work pro bono at the local Los Angeles legal assistance program? No. She is a Republican. And, her case is rather a hybrid version. She did not get fired as Lam was fired: because Lam was getting to close to the inner-sanctum of the Bush Crime Family; no, Yang took the easier out--a path lined with millions of dollars, and a path that would have gone completely under the radar had Gonzogate not exploded. Poor Ms Yang...  May you receive a subpoena as well!

  • james risser's diary :: ::

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.

The Gibson Dunn directory also lists another former California US Attorney in the same group as Bonner, Douglas Fuchs. Mr Fuchs worked for Ms Yang as an assistant to the US Attorney. Small world, isn't it?  Six months after Yang gets hired, the firm hires her assistant (Los Angeles Times, 1.5.07 "He follows his former boss, former U.S. Atty. Debra Yang, who was hired by the Los Angeles law firm last fall.").

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Fuchs was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California from 2000 to 2006, serving as Deputy Chief of the Major Frauds Section since 2005.

Fast forward to six weeks prior to Attorney Lam being fired in San Diego, and the disappearance of Ms Yang:

About Debra Wong Yang

In May 2002, Yang was appointed by President Bush to be the first Asian-American woman to serve as a United States Attorney.  As U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California, Yang oversaw  approximately 260 Assistant U.S. Attorneys who litigate criminal, civil and tax matters in U.S. District Court.  During her first year in office, her staff filed 483 cases of business fraud, for the first time surpassing the historically busier New York U.S. Attorney’s Office.

During her tenure as U.S. Attorney, Yang was selected to serve on President Bush’s Corporate Fraud Task Force and on the Department of Justice’s Intellectual Property Task Force.  She was appointed by the Attorney General to sit on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee, the Intellectual Property Task Force and selected to chair the U.S. Attorney General’s Advisory Committee on Cyber/Intellectual Property and the Committee on Civil Rights.  In 2005, she received the President’s Award for Distinguished Leadership for Women in Federal Law Enforcement.


Yang received her law degree from Boston College Law School in 1985 and her bachelor’s degree from Pitzer College in 1981.  She is a former law clerk for U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Lew.

Now, an interesting twist on the matter is whether the Bush Crime Family worked with Gibson Dunn by having them "make her an offer she can't refuse". Only investigations by the Judiciary Committee will find answers to those questions. And, this can only happen if the investigation is expanded from those that were fired, to those that remained or resigned.

Here is her story in brief from a blogger named David Dayen at his D-Day Blog.

Here's the real scoop: In May 2006, Debra Wong Yang was beginning work on the investigation of Rep. Jerry Lewis, the former chair of the House Appropriations Committee who was being scrutinized over handing out defense earmarks to political friends. Within a few months, Yang resigned... to work for the law firm representing Lewis.

About five months before Yang's departure her office had opened an investigation into ties between Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Calif., and a lobbyist [citation added by risser]. When Yang left her U.S. attorney's job she went to work for Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, the firm where Lewis' legal team works, but government rules required that she recuse herself from that case or any other she was involved with while a government prosecutor.

The Lewis case is connected to the ongoing corruption investigation in San Diego that began with the 2005 conviction of former GOP Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, who is serving jail time for bribery. Former U.S. attorney Carol Lam in San Diego, who was among those dismissed last year, was prosecuting that case. Feinstein contends that Lam's dismissal had something to do with the her role in the Cunningham investigation, though the Justice Department denies it.

Mr Dayen adds another interesting tidbit:

Not only that, Yang got $1.5 million dollars to go to work for Gibson Dunn. Ted Olson, the former US Solicitor General, works there too. And the Assistant US Attorney for LA, Douglas Fuchs, joined her.

Ms Wang was asked whether she might have been a target and gave her story to The Hill:

Wong Yang was heading up the investigation into Rep. Jerry Lewis’s (R-Calif.) ties to a lobbying firm and the millions of dollars in contracts the firm’s clients received from Congress. Wong Yang, the first Asian-American woman to serve as a U.S. attorney, left her post with Justice to become a partner at Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher, the law firm representing Lewis. She will co-chair the firm’s crisis-management practice group, along with Washington, D.C., partner Theodore B. Olson, a former Bush administration solicitor general.

Wong Yang said her departure was a personal decision based on financial concerns and the fact that she is a single mother, and had nothing to do with the firings of other U.S. attorneys. She also said her departure would not affect the case against Lewis in any way, noting that the Justice Department said it would have allowed her to stay in the position "as long as I wanted to."

"The investigation [into Lewis] would never be delayed or affected in any way because of my departure," she said. "We had 260 attorneys in that office."

She said that she had been looking for a more lucrative position in the private sector for months and that a longtime friend, Nick Hanna in the Orange County office of Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher — not Olson or anyone else with close ties to the Bush administration — first contacted her about the position. She said she turned down a more lucrative offer from another firm to take the job at Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher.


Do you think in your wildest imagination that the firm that defends Rep. Jerry Lewis will hear nothing of the US case against him by the lead attorney on the investigation? In a perfect world, an ethical attorney could block herself off from the attorneys handling the case at Gibson Dunn. Are we expected to believe that Ms Yang's hiring was not prompted by the Bush Crime Family and two of their consigliere at Gibson Dunn: Ted Olson and Robert Bonner?

I don't buy it for a second...  Sorry, but the Bush Crime Family does not deserve the benefit of the doubt when it comes to acting ethically.

Both Randy "felon" Cunningham and Rep. Jerry Lewis each took kickbacks a company called MZM that company, in another Bush Crime Family coincidence, furnished one of Dick Cheney’s offices for $140,000. Here is the coincidence: MZM then gave Cunningham a $140.000 yacht.

This from David Corn of the Nation:

In that note to Joshua Bolten, President Bush's chief of staff, Waxman requested information about a $140,000 contract the White House awarded in July 2002 to MZM, Inc. This was Mitchell Wade's company. He's the (now former-) military contractor who paid more than $1 million in bribes to Republican Representative Randy "Duke" Cunningham, who's in jail for having accepted these and other bribes in return for steering federal contracts to Wade and Brent Wilkes, another defense contractor. (Wade pleaded guilty; Wilkes has not.) What's intriguing about the contract Wade received from the White House is that its amount equals the price Wade paid in August 2002 to buy the Duke-Stir, the yacht Cunningham lived (and partied) on in Washington. According to the sentencing recommendation memo in Cunningham's case, Cunningham himself negotiated the $140,000 purchase price of the boat in the summer of 2002. This raises the intriguing possibility that Wade that summer needed money to buy Cunningham the yacht and--presto--a White House contract materialized.

Furthermore, an investigation must begin on whether the Bush Crime Family was in any way complicit in the hiring of Ms Yang, whether any money changed hands from the Bush Crime Family to Gibson Dunn, and/or from Rep. Jerry Lewis to Gibson Dunn to purchase the lead prosecutor from the government. The Attorney General, the former Solicitor General Ted Olson, partners from Gibson Dunn, Robert Bonner, and Ms Yang and Mr Hanna must be subpoenaed immediately.

Tags: Debra Wong Yang, Jerry Lewis, Duke Cunningham, Theodore B. Olson, MZM, Dick Cheney, Scotter Libby, Heidi Fleiss, Brent Wilkes, Robert Bonner, Bush Crime Family, G.W. Bush, Organized Crime, Alberto Gonzales

Tags: Debra Wong Yang, Jerry Lewis, Duke Cunningham, Theodore Olson, MZM, Dick Cheney, Scooter Libby, Heidi Fleiss, Brent Wilkes, Robert Bonner, George W. Bush, Organized Crime, Alberto Gonzales, Recommended (all tags)

Permalink | 153 comments

    •  Hold Your Horses (8+ / 0-)

      However much you distrust the rethugs, remember that greed is king and that if the diary's author's allegations are true, then Gibson Dunn has killed the goose that lays golden eggs.  That is highly unlikely as it would be antithetical to their institutional modus operandi -- making money.

      Model Rules of Professional Conduct
      Client-Lawyer Relationship
      Rule 1.11 Special Conflicts Of Interest For Former And Current Government Officers And Employees

      (a) Except as law may otherwise expressly permit, a lawyer who has formerly served as a public officer or employee of the government:

           (1) is subject to Rule 1.9(c); and

           (2) shall not otherwise represent a client in connection with a matter in which the lawyer participated personally and substantially as a public officer or employee, unless the appropriate government agency gives its informed consent, confirmed in writing, to the representation.

      (b) When a lawyer is disqualified from representation under paragraph (a), no lawyer in a firm with which that lawyer is associated may knowingly undertake or continue representation in such a matter unless:

           (1) the disqualified lawyer is timely screened from any participation in the matter and is apportioned no part of the fee therefrom; and

           (2) written notice is promptly given to the appropriate government agency to enable it to ascertain compliance with the provisions of this rule.

      Under the ABA model rules and California ethics rules, Yang would have had to get someone at the goverment to consent her going to Gibson Dunn, in light of the role she played at the USATT, because she participated in the investigation.  However corrupt they might be, a condition of Yang going to Gibson was probabably that she was screened from the case.

      This is because there would be severe penalties for Yang for violating the trust and confidences of her former client, the U.S. Govt.  Think disbarrment, think of possible civil and criminal penalties against her partners for violation of the terms of the consent.

      Yang is much more valuable to Gibson Dunn as the former USATT of one of the largest districts in the country than she would be in aiding the defense of Lewis, however much his retainer is.  These USATTs that Rove and co. so quickly dismissed are like the belles of the legal balls -- they have the credentials and the connnections to go and do about anything they want in private practice.

      Again, greed is king.  Gibson Dunn is going to be around a lot longer than this administration.  They are not going to jeapardize the millions of dollars and connections that Yang will make them over her career for the million dollars worth of fees that they are already earning from Lewis.

      •  let go of the horses (15+ / 0-)

        your explination ONLY makes sense if we are dealing with ethical people who play by the RULES.....we are NOT.

        this one stinks like a lake full of dead fish in an august heatwave.


        by KnotIookin on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 11:12:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Larger Issues than Individuals (3+ / 0-)

          Recommended by:
          gpclay, Tigana, StrayCat

          I know a lawyer who can coin phrases.   One of my favorites is that he is alleged to have threatened to burn down his house as well as the house of his children just to smoke out a rival.  I think he is Sicilian.  

          His other phrase is -- "there are no conflicts where money is involved."

          That said, the Yang deal with Gibson and Lewis no doubt had the advice and consent double crossed and dotted.  

          That consent should have included a chinese wall separating Yang from the Lewis defense.  No way is Yang going to violate that wall, because to do so could result in her disbarrment as well as the lawyer who is representing Lewis.  A breach of the duty of loyalty of that magnitude could take down a partnership like Gibson (think Anderson and the couple partners who worked for Enron that took down the multinational partnership).

          They are sleezy, but not stupid.

      •  You seem to be assuming that (8+ / 0-)

        people are hired to DO things.  More likely is that they are hired in a case such as this NOT to do.  The question to ask is where has the case gone since Yang departed?

        On the other hand, I still like the civil responsibilities angle of the US Attorneys to represent the interests of the United States as outlined by various agencies (e.g. the DOE's interest in getting nuclear plants licensed) and other entities such as the Indian Nations and their sovereign lands which might be required for various kinds of rights of way for oil, gas, water, electric transmission lines.

        We need to keep in mind that while the U.S. is nominally committed to private enterprise, our private corporations have gotten used to a lot of government support for their endeavors, especially when they involve risks of one sort or another.

      •  horses held... (8+ / 0-)

        I encourage you to read Laura Rozen from January. I think it's worth our consideration that Yang's move may not be all about greed.

        Rep. Lewis straddles at least two immense conspiracies, Abramoff and Wilkes/Wade/Cunningham. Abramoff ties directly to the White House; the White House still conceals its contacts with Abramoff. Wilkes/Wade/Cunningham ties to the White House, too; the White House actively fights against releasing info about its dealing with Wade and MZM.

        Two (or more) separate conspiracies, or disjoint threads leading back to a larger, tangled web? At times, Josh Marshall alludes to a Republican slush fund that entails all manner of nefarious activity. If that's true and these conspiracies comingle, there's no telling the lengths these criminals will goto to protect their own.

        •  I Don't Discount Other Motives (5+ / 0-)

          But I do have an issue with alleging unethical (under the Cannons of Professional Responsibility) conduct without more than crossing two dots.

          Is it shocking that Yang went to Gibson Dunn -- no, if she were looking to go to private practice, they are a top firm in Los Angeles.  But chances are that if she went to any other top tier law firm in L.A., that firm also would be defending some matter that she was invovled in.  It is also not suprising that she is co-chairing the crisis manangement team, given her experience.

          The diary suggests that she is somehow involved in the defense of Lewis. My point is that this would breach her duties to her former client, breach whatever consent agreement they entered into, and result in disbarrment and other penalties for both her and her partners, as the conflict is imputed.  This would be a major deal for Yang and for the firm, more so than the millions in legal fees that the Lewis defense would give Gibson.  They have many clients that pay them millions in legal fees.  Having Yang at their office is worth much more than this for future investigations.

      •  thank you for the note... (5+ / 0-)

        Recommended by:
        gpclay, dqueue, arkdem, blueyedace2, Tigana

        This is because there would be severe penalties for Yang for violating the trust and confidences of her former client, the U.S. Govt.  Think disbarrment, think of possible civil and criminal penalties against her partners for violation of the terms of the consent.

        yes, there certainly would be.

        here is the thing: i do not have the power to investigate...that is why i am requesting that those who do, follow-up on whether those rules are actually being followed.

        since this is the third member of the us attorney office to leave the los angeles and go to the same division of gibson dunn that is defending rep. lewis, it cannot be ignored, or, we cannot say, 'well, there are rules that she has to follow...' and leave it at that...

        does that make sense?

        •  Some Stones Should Be Left Unturned (0 / 0)

          You can't conduct that investigation without comprimising attorney/client communications and attorney work product.  However dispicable Lewis may be, upholding those principles are more important.  Absent evidence such as the circumstantial evidence of Yang going to Gibson Dunn, at a certain point you have to rely on Yang and Gibson Dunn to abide by the terms of the consent agreement.

    •  Another part of the puzzle: (2+ / 0-)

      Recommended by:
      nancelot, james risser, artisan

      It looks like Carole Lam, the US Attorney in San Diego may have been hindered in her continuation of the Cunningham related prosecutions.

      Here's an articlethat makes that accusation.

  •  I read about this yesterday (38+ / 0-)

    she should be kissing her right to practice law goodbye.

    -8.63 -7.28 "Congress _ a group of men who individually can do nothing, but as a group decide that nothing can be done."

    by OneCrankyDom on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 08:29:03 AM PDT

  •  The Canons of Ethics provide (19+ / 0-)

    that an attorney should avoid not just impropriety, but anything that presents the appearance of impropriety.  You be the judge.

    If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

    by marykk on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 08:32:51 AM PDT

  •  Recommended - too big to overlook (7+ / 0-)

    This is like the icing on the cake of the USA scandal, and it does not get anymore blatant and clearcut than this.

  •  miss wang meet klieg lights, (6+ / 0-)

    klieg lights, miss wang. at least you won't have to look very far for a lawyer.

    take it from boutros boutros-ghali, put down your gun & listen to bob marley

    by rasbobbo on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 08:37:36 AM PDT

  •  What leads you to believe... (5+ / 0-)

    George Cardona, the acting USA in LA, will not continue a case which was opened nearly a year ago?

    Besides, the USA in LA doesn't handle cases regarding US officials alone - the Public Integrity Section in DC is always involved.

  •  What? ...Choke, gag, puke...what did you say?... (26+ / 0-)

    "...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..."

    Anyone ever hear of witness-tampering being a crime?
    Anyone ever hear about "bribing an officer of the court" being a crime? Does this Bush Crime Family even know what one is?

    Just how far will the American people "bend over and spell R U N three times" before they wake-up and stop this gang of mobsters?

    "Our past patriots are spinning in their graves. Did they all die for this tyranny?" Change Course. Change Captains. Change crews. But save the ship!

    by ImpeachKingBushII on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 08:42:13 AM PDT

  •  Gibson Dunn LA... (5+ / 0-)

    is a real scumbag outfit.  When a bunch of criminals basically took over the Mayor's office of the town of South Gate, this firm billed the city for millions of dollars to defend these creeps from their outraged citizens. Parasites.  

    I'm a Republican. All my boys are Republicans.-Al Capone

    by Travis Bickle on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 08:53:57 AM PDT

    •  I don't think that is correct (3+ / 0-)

      Recommended by:
      peace voter, rgdurst, Ellicatt

      Before this scandal, at least, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher had a white shoe reputation—that was certainly my impression, shared by many Angelenos. The firm is very large and has many different practice areas.

      Though I am disturbed by the Yang hire/signing bonus, I still don't think you can generalize about the firm. It certainly isn't a criminal defense boutique perfuming its reputation with pro bono posturing (for sheer hypocrisy, Keker & Van Nest of San Francisco comes to mind).

      •  In this instance you are correct... (6+ / 0-)

        My memory failed me. the South Gate law firm that attempted to bill one million was another "white shoe" firm, Shepard Mullin. But here's some more typical behavior of G,D and C...

        "You can only push a judge so far.  After witnessing law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher engage in what he described as a "culture" of "obstruction, gamesmanship and flagrant disregard to this court's orders," U.S. Magistrate Lawrence O'Neill fined the firm $102,078.97 for unprofessional conduct and abuse of the discovery process.  GD&C represents a company called EnCana, which is being sued by Gallo Winery for fixing the price of natural gas.  Judge O'Neill held the firm fully responsible for the misconduct and ordered GD&C to pay the sanctions, not EnCana.

        At about the same time a judge in Orange County Superior Court was also hammering GD&C for its discovery tactics.  Judge Geoffrey T. Glass (one of our favorite judges since his ruling in Pallorium, Inc. v. Jared) held that GD&C client KPMG had "deliberately or recklessly withheld or delayed in producing many responsive documents in order to gain an unfair advantage."  While KPMG was sanctioned only $30,000 -- a mere pittance compared to EnCana case -- the far heftier price will come at the time of trial.  Judge Glass will instruct the jury about KPMG's failure to produce documents and instruct the jurors that they can consider those actions when deciding the lawsuit.  Cheryl D. Justice (see photo) was the GD&C partner assigned to the KPMG case."

        Their defense of Congressman Lewis speaks for itself.

        I'm a Republican. All my boys are Republicans.-Al Capone

        by Travis Bickle on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 09:38:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Dude... (2+ / 0-)

          Recommended by:
          G Spot1, phidda

          If being a dick about discovery is a basis for a Kos Lynching, you're going to be after just about every lawyer who ever litigated.

          Sorry, this doesn't mean shit.

          •  How many lawyers... (1+ / 0-)

            Recommended by:

            have been sanctioned in this manner? Also, I don't wish to sound like a right wing demagogue but even as an attorney I would think that you would acknowledge at this point that our justice system grossly favors the rich and powerful (like Jerry Lewis) and our civil law situation is preposterous.

            I'm a Republican. All my boys are Republicans.-Al Capone

            by Travis Bickle on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 12:11:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  it seems that lawyers willing to mispresent facts (0 / 0)

              and even, apparently, to lie themselves under oath are exceptionally in demand in the corporate and criminal defense world. The best attorneys deliver, and in Los Angeles at least, they use the likes of Anthony Pellicano. Or is that really such a secret?

      •  yes. scum in one area of the firm... (3+ / 0-)

        Recommended by:
        TheMomCat, QuickSilver, Ellicatt

        ...does not discount the entire firm in those sections that do not over-lap the tainted area, e.g., the securities attorneys or the corporate attorneys that do not get into the criminal stuff.

        the transactional guys are fine, but, it seems this one section where yang and the others are is problematic.

  •  How the hell (9+ / 0-)

    do these corrupt people sleep at night?  I lose sleep over the fact that I'm doing very little to stop world problems.  I couldn't even consider doing what they do.

    Bush's presidency is now inextricably yoked to the policies of aggression and subjugation. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 09:06:05 AM PDT

  •  thanks for the shout out (14+ / 0-)

    This is an important part of the story, and Laura Rozen's been doing the best work on it at War and Piece.

    D-Day, the newest blog on the internet (at the moment of its launch)

    by dday on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 09:08:03 AM PDT

  •  Criminal Conspiracy (4+ / 0-)

    I'm not a lawyer but isn't this past unethical? I mean  isn't this obstruction of justice or conspiracy to defraud the government?

    "By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes" Wm. Shakespeare, "Macbeth"

    by TheMomCat on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 09:11:39 AM PDT

  •  If Waxman isn't taking vitamins (4+ / 0-)

    he might wish to start now. He's got a hefty job to do, ferreting out corruption, he'll need to keep his strength up.  Excellent job James, looks like you are following the money trail just the way one should. The money angle is probably what will take them down in the end.

    It isn't shameful to vote your own self-interest instead of the interests of multi-national corporations--iceman

    by fumie on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 09:11:44 AM PDT

    •  But if you, really, really love your feretting... (0 / 0)

      Well, then that's a ferret of a different color..No furriers need apply ! I love ferrets and the word..Just like cats and frank, gonna do it their way..Gotta love that..
      Goo------>WAXINATOR !

      "Better a little late, than a little never"..Oscar Madison

      by Johnny Rapture on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 11:24:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  New meaning to "DEFENSE Contractor Fraud" (2+ / 0-)

    Recommended by:
    buckhorn okie, james risser

    This prosecuter received, in effect, a defense contract to benefit a criminal she is prosecuting on behalf of the people of the United States.

    We now have a new application of the already rampant "defense contracting" fraud endemic to GOP kleptocrats.




    Religion is like sodomy both can be harmless if practiced between consenting adults but neither should be imposed upon children.

    by Caoimhin Laochdha on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 09:13:32 AM PDT

  •  What are they trying to hide.. (5+ / 0-)

    It seems bush family either pays them off with bribes or threatens them with something..Mafia big time.  They are covering up something big... betca.

  •  What kind of firewall did they set up? (10+ / 0-)

    I'm not familiar w/ the canons governing a prosecutor going into private practice.  I really wonder, however, about a prosecutor going into the practice group that's defending someone she was prosecuting in a major case.  

    How big is this practice group?  Is Wong Yang working w/ Bonner?  Does he have authority over her compensation or promotion prospects?

    I'm also curious as to what work Wong Yang is now doing and how someone who obviously brought no clients w/ her would get that kind of compensation package.  I really don't know what other USA's have gotten going into private practice, but that seems awfully generous.

    Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

    by RFK Lives on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 09:19:47 AM PDT

    •  More important firewall (1+ / 0-)

      Recommended by:
      Joe Bob

      (I wrote more detailed comment above)

      The more important firewall, and critical disclosure requirements, were the mandatory ones required at the U.S. Attorney's office after her first contact w/Gibson Dunn on this subject.

      I want to know the U.S. Atty's office procedures, disclosures, notices that went into effect as the outset of this.




      Religion is like sodomy both can be harmless if practiced between consenting adults but neither should be imposed upon children.

      by Caoimhin Laochdha on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 09:46:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Her comp (6+ / 0-)

      Yang's experience and her connections are going to be a huge asset to Gibson Dunn's practice.  Gibson partners make in excess of $1 m per year.  She may not have clients (yet) but she is an asset for every partner to sell to prospective clients - "Let us defend you in that high profile, bet the company case brought by the USAO.  We have Debra Yang.  She's been there.  She knows how it works.  She has the connections.  We can help you through this."  Hiring her was a no brainer for Gibson.

      Many firms hire lots of former AUSA's, SEC and other government lawyers.  This is exactly how they do it.

      By the way, the ethical rules will forbid her from working on the pending investigations.

      •  I've been trying to make this point... (2+ / 0-)

        Recommended by:
        G Spot1, QuickSilver

        But it seems the hype level is beyond trying to inject reason at this time.

        •  you two have made your point... (1+ / 0-)

          Recommended by:
          Betsy McCall

          ...and, in an ideal world, where the attorney and her firm follow ethical guidelines, it would true that she would not in anyway be part of rep. lewis' defense.  exactly.

          now, a quick reality check...

          this is the third instance where this firm has hired individuals on lewis' case into their firm.  

          yes, it could be a coincidence and all the rest, but, i want it investigated because i have been around the law for perhaps a bit longer than most people here, and i know when something stinks to high-heaven, and this does.  period.

  •  This whole episode is just so terribly Wong and (2+ / 0-)

    Recommended by:
    rgdurst, james risser

    certainly needs to be Wighted quickly.. I heard she was offered a huge condo, and a five acre Ranchero down in bush-South aka Paraguay..Where the duck hunting is special and extradition is an unheard of concept..The anti-ballistics missles are being installed now along with the the duck stocking as we blog..Gawd has reportedly told bush to gather two of all insects, humans and beasts and transport them to the promised land[Paraguay]..Except card carrying Democrats of course..The Raputers will not involve Paraguay

    "Better a little late, than a little never"..Oscar Madison

    by Johnny Rapture on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 09:27:39 AM PDT

  •  Barbara Comstock again (4+ / 0-)

    Recommended by:
    Voodoo, justme, JuliaAnn, james risser

    Basically, anywhere she goes you can expect that there is Republican criminality going on. She is the surest sign that a coverup is in progress.

    "We already won the war, it's the occupation that's killing us."

    by cal in cali on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 09:35:01 AM PDT

  •  excellent...excellent....excellent...another (1+ / 0-)

    Recommended by:

    great diary

  •  buying debra wong (7+ / 0-)

    It is highly unusual for a federal lawyer involved in a high profile case to move straight to the defense firm while that case is pending.  The firm she goes to, ethically, must build a Chinese (sorry) wall between her and the case;  that is, she can't go near it.  That brings into question why it would be economically sensible for that firm to hire that person.  She becomes a big administrative hassle at the office.  She has to go into an isolation room.  She isn't versatile since she has to be walled off from this matter and all its corollaries.  So why hire her?  On her end, before she moves into this job, she, ethically, has to go to her compliance people and get all kinds of guidance and waivers.  

    So this is very questionable.  

    It is different, and perfectly legitimate, for someone to go from a USA office to a criminal defense firm in, say, a different jurisdiction or when the firm's pending cases are low level or were cases as to which the person switching hats had no familiarity or involvement.  

    •  you are exactly right... (0 / 0)

      ...what makes it MORE problematic is that they did it with BONNER and FUCHS as well!!!

    •  isolation room? (0 / 0)

      I can tell you never worked at a law firm.

      Gibson has lots of cases.  Gets new ones every day.  I think she will find plenty to do.

      Big law firms are used to handling ethical walls, conflicts and similar issues.  They do it every day, not just for Yang.  It's the only way they can be so big and have such a diverse practice.  For example, how do you thikn a firm like Skadden can handle big bankruptcies on behalf of debtors when they represent most of Wall Street (i.e., the creditors)?  This is pretty common.

      They will sell her to future clients.  She will sell herself to future clients.  She will be very successful and that $1.5 m bonus will look cheap in a few years.

    •  Exactly... (1+ / 0-)

      Recommended by:

      If we want to argue Yang was removed for political reasons, I think that we should be looking at cases which may at some future time come before the LA USA office, not those already there.

  •  Court House gossip (0+ / 0-)

    Recommended by:

       The scuttlebutt (given to me by a true ear-to-the-wall type) is that Yang's husband left her last year.  (Note her reference to being single mother.)  Apparently, the husband was extremely wealthy.  Yang comes from modest circumstances.  Word is that the husband is playing hard ball and she had to vacate the house so that it could be sold.  She's got custody of the children and has to provide their schooling, supervision while she's at work, etc.
       While a US Attorney makes a good living, it's not in the league that Yang lived in with her husband and his family money.  At best, she would get temporary alimony.  Her children are accustomed to a wealthy lifestyle.  They don't just go to school.  In Los Angeles, the US Attorney's salary is chump change for someone who needs to live in a certain neighborhood with her children plus hire help to assist with the children and the house.
       The word is that Yang actually loved the job and wanted to stay as US Attorney as long as they would have her.  Her finances intervened.

    •  And she saw no ethical issue? (3+ / 0-)

      Recommended by:
      rgdurst, OWTH, james risser

      It's great that she's a nice person. But she still saw no ethical issue with taking huge amounts of money from the subject of an investigation she was leading?

      "We already won the war, it's the occupation that's killing us."

      by cal in cali on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 10:02:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I didn't say that (1+ / 0-)

        Recommended by:

           I never said she was a nice person.  I am a Democrat and she's a Republican.  I have never liked the Los Angeles US Attorney's Office.  It's never been a hotbed of ethical behaviour.  I was just adding the local scuttlebutt.

        •  That's how I took it, (0 / 0)

          and I find the local scuttlebut interesting. Thanks. So she and her kids are used to a family-money lifestyle and now she's "reduced" to a salary. Poor dear ;)

          "This chamber reeks of blood." -- Sen George McGovern, 1970

          by cotterperson on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 11:23:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  But CA's a no-fault joint property state. (0 / 0)

        If her husband was wealthy, she should be well taken care of on half his assets...by the way, that $1.5 million seems high.  Was that her salary or her bonus?  Experienced litigators are valuable but they need clients, and they usually don't come in at such a high initial salary...should be easy to research salaries at her firm, they're published by American Lawyer.

    •  so? (2+ / 0-)

      Recommended by:
      Tuba Les, old wobbly

      ...she claimed to have been given HIGHER offers by other l.a. firms.  

      if she needed the money, why did she take a lower offer from a firm that represents the people she was investigating.

      nice story, but, i call BULLSHIT.

      thanks for the info though...

      •  But... (2+ / 0-)

        Recommended by:
        Beowulf, cotterperson

           The information I reported is not something that takes away from the original post.  Indeed, it could strengthen it.

        •  exactly... (1+ / 0-)

          Recommended by:

          That's why when you apply for a security clearance, the Feds review your financial situation.  Someone who's in a bind financially is more susceptible to bribery than a person who doesn't have any money worries.

          In in this particular case, I' a little dubious.  How long was she married?  Were these kids also the ex's?

          California is a community property state, so she'd be entitled to half of everything her spouse made during the marriage.  Even if there was a K-Fed style, ironclad prenup, they're never applicable to child support.  If the kids were used to living a millionaire's lifestyle (expensive house, private schools, etc.) , then the ex's child support obligation will reflect that.

          •  And besides ... (1+ / 0-)

            Recommended by:

            if Wong was not corrupt, just destitute -- then we still have an issue with the GOP seeing its opportunity to BUY HER SILENCE vis a vis the investigation.

            Another thing -- I'm a single Mom, too, with three kids. I am sure I could survive on a California U.S. attorney salary.

            Does anyone have any idea how much taxpayer money is going to support these clowns and crooks? And it's still never enough, so they steal, take bribes, make shell companies, submit fake invoices, and ... the beat goes on.

            Our system has grown so corrupt we are now looking at our government through the lens of Ms. Wong's divorce papers. Fucking sorry state, if you ask me.

            "There are four boxes to use in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, ammo. Use in that order." Ed Howdershelt

            by JuliaAnn on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 11:14:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Surviving on mere salary (0 / 0)

                 You obviously don't live in the Los Angeles area.  (g)  Nothing is real here.  The $150,000 or so the US Attorney receives annually (plus medical) is really considered nothing here. In many ways, it is nothing.
                 The cost of living in Los Angeles is beyond ridiculous.  Private school for the kiddies is a must because there is no public school system and hasn't been for umpteen years.  Figure $20,000 per kid for private school.  She has two children.  In answer to another question, the children are hers by the husband who is currently divorcing her.
                 Another thing to remember is that just because she's going to get something financial out of the divorce does not mean she's got it right now.
                 I agree with another poster that it still looks awful, even if she is making all the proper ethical moves.  Once one has lived in the palace, though, one does not necessarily understand how the serfs live their lives.

    •  wong motives for leaving civil service (0 / 0)

      going through a divorce is not synonymous with being a nice person. Whether or not this person is a nice person is something posters here neither know nor need to know.   while this gossip if true serves to reinforce the logical conclusion that Wong had a financial motive, it neither adds nor takes away from the problematical nature of someone switching horses in midstream, as it were.  Sure law firms represent creditors and debtors at the same time, but they can't represent a particular debtor and that particular debtor's creditor at the same time, that is called a conflict.  And a lawyer can legitimately prosecute criminals one week and defend them the next week.  But she can't prosecute a particular criminal one week and defend the same one the next week.  There are big problems here.  The case was hugely high profile, Wong was the identified prosecutor, this law firm was the identified defendant's counsel.  There are other good folks this firm could have hired (what about Lam for instance) and there were other places Wong could have gone.  She has young kids, she had higher offers.  Did they tell her that beyond the higher salary, she would have a light workload?  

      •  plenty to do (1+ / 0-)

        Recommended by:

        Um, Yang isn't prosecuting a particular criminal one week and defending him the next.  Gibson's defending him, but she will be prohibiting from working on that.  She won't be listed on the letters or pleadings.  Can't attend the meeetings, either internal or with the government.  Can't read any of the papers or get access to the documents.  Can't talk about it with her colleagues.  Can't advise her colleagues or the client on the case.  Can't have any involvement in the case whatsoever.  Gibson is a big firm.  Has lots of high profile cases.  She'll have plenty to do without working on this case.

        The "there are other good folks this firm could have hired" comment shows you know nothing about law firms.  Gibson wasn't filling an opening for some grunt attorney to work on their cases.  They brought in Yang because she will CREATE business.  The $1.5 million was a downpayment on the millions in fees they hope she will help generate in the coming years.  And as a partner she will share in the profits she helps generate.

        •  in an ideal world, i agree... (0 / 0)

          Gibson's defending him, but she will be prohibiting from working on that.  She won't be listed on the letters or pleadings.  Can't attend the meeetings, either internal or with the government.  Can't read any of the papers or get access to the documents.  Can't talk about it with her colleagues.  Can't advise her colleagues or the client on the case.  Can't have any involvement in the case whatsoever.

          however, i have my doubts based on the fact that the firm has now 'purchased' three us attorneys who worked on the lewis matter...

          the appearance is not good, no?

    •  The horror! (1+ / 0-)

      Recommended by:
      james risser

      She and her privileged little rich kids suddenly faced the prospect of having to join the dirty ranks of the upper middle class masses?  THE HORROR!!!!  Poor Ms. Yang.  Poor, poor, Ms. Yang.  I think I just wiped a tear from my eye.

      Life is like love in autumn

      by kenjib on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 12:22:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  When going after organized crime... (3+ / 0-)

    Recommended by:
    Carl Nyberg, rgdurst, james risser

    Start with the lawyers...

    Gonzales, Wong, etc., etc., etc.

    BTW - It's consigliere.  :)

    -6.5, -7.59. I want to know who the men in the shadows are... ~Jackson Browne

    by DrWolfy on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 10:09:25 AM PDT

  •  I suggest a series.... (1+ / 0-)

    Recommended by:
    james risser

    There's really no way to do justice (no pun intended) to all the incredibly nefarious doings of the Bush administration in a single book, movie, etc.  We need a looooong running TV series.    

    To God: Please stop talking to George Bush. Too much is being lost in translation.

    by miriam on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 10:11:42 AM PDT

  •  This case is peanuts compared to 1969 (2+ / 0-)

    Recommended by:
    JuliaAnn, Tuba Les

    when IBM hired Nicholas Katzenbach, the friggin' Attorney General, whose Justice Department had filed against them the largest antitrust case ever seen. Katzenbach became Chief Counsel for IBM and successfully thwarted the case. As I recall, one of his strategies was to flood Justice with railcars full of so many document that no one could sort through them usefully.

    The free market at work.


    by perro amarillo on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 10:11:57 AM PDT

  •  This is Garbage (5+ / 0-)

    Recommended by:
    Disillusioned, Samulayo, rgdurst, phidda, FG

    A garbage post, that is.

    People who work hard in the public sector for far less money they can earn in the private sector are entitled to go through the revolving door and make some money.  There has never been any charge that Ms. Yang acted with any impropriety that I am aware of.  A FORMER PUBLIC SERVANT IS PERMITTED TO MAKE MONEY IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR.

    Her choice of firm is logical - GIBSON DUNN IS ONE OF THE BEST FIRMS IN LOS ANGELES, MUCH LESS THE COUNTRY.  Their white collar crime practice is one of the best, which is why they are handling the Lewis case and the other high profile representations you mention.  Someone like Yang - who has experience handling high profile criminal work on the prosecution side - is going to want to go somewhere where her skills and experience are most useful.  Gibson Dunn would be at the top of anyone's list in that position.  The fact that it was #1 for her is unsurprising.

    Moreover, any firm in Los Angeles with a top white collar practice - the kind that would attract Yang - would have had major cases in front of her.  You simply cannot use this charge of impropriety based solely on innuendo to basically close the door on her best career options in the private sector.  Let's not kill the incentives for talented people who go into government.

    I don't know Ms. Yang personally, but I know people who do.  This is a baseless smear.  Unrecommend, please.

    •  oh, spare me... (1+ / 0-)

      Recommended by:
      old wobbly

      ...she herself admits that other firms in l.a. offered her HIGHER wages and she chose gibson.  any firm that would have offered her more would be just as 'reputable'.

      but, she didn't choose, say, skadden arps, no, she chose the firm that was defending her opposition. as they have done with bonner and fuchs.

      •  Not true (2+ / 0-)

        Recommended by:
        Disillusioned, phidda

        Sure, Skadden may have been a good choice.  But there are only a few others that match Gibson in LA.  The LA legal community is small.  The white collar community in LA is even smaller.  She has a family and probably didn't want to go to NY or DC.  She had friends at Gibson.  And as good as some of the other firms are in LA, Gibson has a good argument at being the best at this work.

        You also can't just look at the initial number offered here.  She very well could make more at Gibson long term.  On average, they are one of the top earning firms per partner in LA.  Were the more lucrative offers from the other top flight firms?  The well established ones with already rock solid practices or firms trying to jump start a white collar practice by luring a superstar?  I know partners who came from government and turned down better offers to come to my firm because we were better suited for their practice.  They saw a better future here.  I'm sure she made the same decision.

        In light of all the obvious corruption going on, I really think you should be careful about throwing around these kinds of charges where there is little more than innuendo.

        •  Passions are running too high here... (2+ / 0-)

          Recommended by:
          G Spot1, Samulayo

          And it's starting to look like more and more of a witch hunt than solid reporting of real evidence.

          Ennuendo is the word of the day (ala the "redacted" documents that weren't really redacted).

          This diary isn't trash, it's good to sit up and take notice of these things. The trash comes in the comments that are full of glee and anticipation over what is circumstantial at best instead of researching the facts.

          This diary serves the purpose of alerting people to the potential of unethical behavior, but does absolutely nothing to prove it.

          Hang in there, some days are better than others, and eventually people will come around.

          John Edwards in 08. Accept no substitutes!

          by Disillusioned on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 11:16:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  *Innuendo* - dangit! <n/t> (0 / 0)

            John Edwards in 08. Accept no substitutes!

            by Disillusioned on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 11:17:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Good point (1+ / 0-)

            Recommended by:

            This is a bit personal to me.  I work with good people who came from the government.  I admire their service and the skills they have brought to private practice.  They are without question the most talented lawyers I've worked with and to a man or woman they act with integrity.  They did the exact same thing Yang did, except that perhaps they handn't obtained such a high position as her, and certainly didn't make the switch in the midst of this kind of (completely justified) storm.  I can see myself in their position one day.  So I absolutely want this innuendo to stop, and focus on the real and obvious corruption we are facing.

          •  that is why i said... (0 / 0)

            Furthermore, an investigation must begin on whether the Bush Crime Family was in any way complicit in the hiring of Ms Yang, whether any money changed hands from the Bush Crime Family to Gibson Dunn, and/or from Rep. Jerry Lewis to Gibson Dunn to purchase the lead prosecutor from the government. The Attorney General, the former Solicitor General Ted Olson, partners from Gibson Dunn, Robert Bonner, and Ms Yang and Mr Hanna must be subpoenaed immediately.

            i don't have subpoena power, unfortunately.  but, i hope that those who do give this obviously strange coincidence of events a good look.


            •  This happens all the time (1+ / 0-)

              Recommended by:
              G Spot1

              A prosecutor will join a large firm that is defending cases brought by the prosecutor's office.  Firms set up "firewalls" so that the conflicted lawyer has no contact whatsoever with the case for which she has a conflict.  This is utterly routine and there is nothing at all unusual about it.

              Also, $1.5 million is not unusual for a senior partner at a large law firm.  Law firm like GIbson Dunn regularly report Profits per Partner in the range of $1.5 million to $2 million.

              If this requires an investigation, then does the hiring of practically every AUSA and US attorney that gets a job in the private sector.

              •  with all due respect.... (0 / 0)

                ...i understand that quite well, and i am guessing that it has been said enough in the comments that everyone is getting an education in large law-firms.

                but, and i think here it is quite a big BUT,

                rules of professional responsibility and ethics are only good when they are followed.  i am sorry but people associated with this administration, with rep. lewis, cunningham, and gonzoles no longer deserve the respect you are giving them in upholding those obligations.

                if you think it is not worth investigating, then, i will not change your mind.

                we can agree to disagree.  my intuition and the facts--as i see them--differ from yours.

                thanks for your visit and your comments.


                •  My last word (1+ / 0-)

                  Recommended by:

                  I think I've said enough and will try to make this my last word (yeah right):

                  One of the things that is so bad about the US Attorney scandal is that Federal prosecutors like this guy in Wisconsin were bringing charges against people based on little more than innuendo:  There were bids for a contract.  One slightly lower than the other.  But you chose the slightly higher one because they were in state.  But I look here, and that in state company is also a big contributor to the governor (imagine that, Wisconsin company contributes to the Wisconsin governor).  So I'm thinking fraud.  I will prosecute you and convict you.

                  That was a case the appellate court called "beyond thin."

                  I'm afraid that's what we are doing here.  I think it was Iglesias who said that you can't be hauling innocent people before a grand jury.  It ruins lives.  You have to have more than this.  Yang is a real person with a career and a reputation and a family.  Show me some evidence that the Lewis case has been affected as a result of her departure, and I'm on board.

                  •  only an investiagtion will show that... (0 / 0)

                    ...however, since there are now THREE attorneys from the l.a. office who worked on prosecuting rep. lewis, and those three are now in gibson dunn, the firm that is defending lewis--even though, the attorney yang said she received other larger offers from reputable l.a. firms but decided on gibson dunn...  i think there is sufficient 'odor' here to warrant an extra look-see.

                    that is what i am requesting.  the people that lewis bilked, and the communities that DID NOT get kick-backs to match their 'contributions to his campaign' have people in them too...  this goes beyond on woman making a potentially unwise decision.  more investigation is needed into the entire matter...

              •  Is she a senior partner? (0 / 0)

                What's wrong with checking it out, that salary seems high for someone coming in with no clients.  Is she a special partner, what are the terms of her deal?  The public has a right to know this, under the circumstances.

    •  sorry - ethics matter (6+ / 0-)

      A US Attorney is expected to be highly ethical. Her move casts doubt on the ethics of USAs in general, and specifically on their willingness to be bought out by wealthy subjects of investigation.

      She had other options that presented no such ethical failure. She had an obligation consider the impact of her own choices for personal gain. Now, her own ethics are coming under legitimate question.

      Money is not the only justification for everything in life.

      "We already won the war, it's the occupation that's killing us."

      by cal in cali on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 10:20:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That is the plan (0 / 0)

        the complete and utter destruction in the trust of the rule of law and DoJ. More of the "govt does not work/is corrupt" meme

        Take a look around the news and see who is saying what.. a pattern emerges easily enough.

    •  Come on... (2+ / 0-)

      Recommended by:
      Tuba Les, james risser

      ...what other Congressman (head of appropriations for years)or the equivalent was under investigation by Yang? Enough of those high-level targets so that "any firm with a top white collar practice" would be defending one of them? Don't think so. Jerry Lewis is a special case and now, no matter what BS Chinese wall might be in place, her paycheck is coming partly from him.

      •  um (2+ / 0-)

        Recommended by:
        Tuba Les, phidda

        This kind of proves my point.  Lewis is a special case.  Gibson landed it becuase they are one of if not the best in this area of practice - i.e., one of the top choices for someone of Yang's experience to go to.

        As for her paycheck, I read recently that Lewis had paid Gibson about $800,000 in legal fees.  Probably more now, but that's a rounding error for a firm that brought in over $800 million in 2006, or $1.75 million per equity partner.  

        •  Umm. No it doesn't prove... (0 / 0)

          ...your point. You said any firm she went to would have similar high profile cases she'd worked on. Now you say it's a special case. Which is it? If the former, please name one equivalent case. If the latter, YEAH it's special...That's the point of the original post.

          Could you maybe make up your mind? You're looking more and more trollish.

          •  I said... (0 / 0)

            that Gibson was probably the best.  O'Melveny and others would dispute it, but Gibson has a strong argument.  Hence the special cases.  If she passed up Gibson solely because of Lewis she would 1) be passing over what was probably her best choice (especially given her friendships and political connections and 2) be going somewhere where there would STILL be cases that could be used to call her intergrity into question, even if less high profile that Lewis.  Damned either way.

    •  you should be angry at the Bush administration (1+ / 0-)

      Recommended by:
      james risser

      It seems that George W. Bush, Alberto Gonzales and Karl Rove have undermined your argument.

      Bush appointed U.S. attorneys are making professional decisions in ways to support Republican elected officials and the Republican Party.

      The fact is that Debra Wong Yang didn't go to a firm defending non-political white collar crime cases prosecuted by her office. She went to the firm defending her highest profile political prosecution.

      Absent the other evidence, including the evidence of a cover-up, DWY's move isn't so remarkable. But context matters.

      As for the defense you know people who know her....

      That's elitist bullshit. All you're saying is she runs in your circles and she behaves well at cocktail parties. It's no more meaningful than when some cop says, I know officer such-and-such and he'd never engage in police brutality.

      Yeah, whatever... Show me the evidence.

      If you are interested in the politics of Proviso Township in Cook County, Illinois, visit Proviso Probe.

      by Carl Nyberg on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 12:42:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hmmm (0 / 0)

        So you have no evidence of impropriety but want me to come up with some to exonerate her?  Guilt by association, eh?  How'd you come out on the Duke rape case?

        Notably absent from any discussion of this whatsoever is any indication that the Lewis prosecution has been affected in any way.  

        I wish I ran in her circles (well, maybe not the Republican ones).  Fact is, I'm not even close.  I admire her as I admire many others who served the public then decided to maximize their earnings in private practice.  It's one of the benefits of dedicating yourself to public service.  And before I get the "She can survive as a single mom on a US Attorney's salary" BS, just remember that for years she has forgone hundreds of thousands if not millions in order to work in the public sector.  I realize that means nothing to people who can't touch that level, but it is still a sacrifice.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with maximizing one's earning power.  Nothing.  And the ability to do that following public employment is one of the reasons we attract talented people to government service.  What are you going to say when it's our guys doing it?

        And your damned right we should be angry at these guys.  They have cast a long shadow of corruption over every hardworking lawyer in the DOJ and the USAO's across the country.  Everyone is now suspected of subverting the rule of law for partisan hackery and political gain.  It's bullsh-t.  

        •  not bullshit when they are subverting the law (1+ / 0-)

          Recommended by:
          james risser

          I'm not sure DWY or her law firm did anything wrong.

          If the case hasn't been disrupted that's strong evidence that she didn't do anything wrong.

          However, it seems absolutely appropriate to ask if prosecuting Rep. Jerry Lewis was delayed, disrupted or otherwise adversely affected.

          If you are interested in the politics of Proviso Township in Cook County, Illinois, visit Proviso Probe.

          by Carl Nyberg on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 01:14:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Unrelated Comment (1+ / 0-)

    Recommended by:

    If people keep digging in like this we are soon to reach the real culprits that allow the importation of the Heroin, Cocaine, and Methamphetamine that enters the Country.

  •  $1.5 million isn't that much.... (3+ / 0-)

    Recommended by:
    Beowulf, G Spot1, james risser

    ...its the money we don't know about that should be a concern. And the conflict of interest and lack of "chinese walls" is apparent.

    "I am my brother's keeper. I am a Democrat." -- That's your slogan, Democrats.

    by Bensdad on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 10:48:15 AM PDT

    •  this is true... (1+ / 0-)

      Recommended by:
      G Spot1

      $1.5 million is a lot of money to me and you, for a firm like Gibson, there are partners who make more than that every year.  The Gibson partners are not going to put that gravy train (and their bar license to boot) at risk by conspiring to bribe a US Attorney.

      Lewis is just one client, there's plenty more of those.  Its like the joke says... The jury finds the defendant guilty, and the defendant says to the lawyer, "I guess this is the end of the line."  And the lawyer responds, "Well for you it is, you're going to prison. As for me, I'm going home to have sex with my wife."

      •  remember arthur anderson (6+ / 0-)

        who would have thought, when the enron crap exploded that one of the country's biggest and best known accounting firms would take the fall.....surely the money they made from doing LEGAL work had to trump the money they got for playing with Enrons audits..

        now i keep reading that this law firm wouldnt jeopardize THEIR Company for the likes of Jerry Lewis....I say, dont be so naive....we are dealing with a crime syndicate here that makes the mafia look like amatuers in comparison.


        by KnotIookin on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 11:19:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  nice jump from $140,000 a year though... (0 / 0)

      •  Is it $1.5 million normal? (1+ / 0-)

        Recommended by:
        james risser

        I read that people say "It's not a lot money to a firm  like Gibson, et al".

        But is such an monetary compensation normal for a former US Attorney with her background?  Her in-government credentials do seem pretty good.

        It probably is a clean transaction but it hardly withstands the smell test.  

        As the diary links to this:

        She said she turned down a more lucrative offer from another firm to take the job at Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher.

        ...it could be VERY helpful for her credibility if she would disclose which other firm(s) courted her.

        •  Yes, it's normal (1+ / 0-)

          Recommended by:
          james risser

          Newly minted equity partners at a firm like Gibson (people up thru the associate ranks) will pull in close to a million.  The average profits per partner at Gibson has been over $1.5 million (I think $1.75m last year).  FIRST YEAR associates fresh out of law school are pulling in $145,000 in LA plus thousands more in bonuses (probably more than Yang made!).  I believe it's $160k in NY for the newbies.

          My understanding is that the $1.5m was essentially a signing bonus, but even if she was only there say 10 years, that's $150k per year for the firm.  I have literally no idea what her salary/partnership draw will start it but it will probably be 7 figures with a big upside.  If she helps bring in new cases and clients she will do very well.  And they expect her to - that $1.5m is a down payment toward that.

          I've noticed a few people said she has no clients.  But she's likely to do very well in bringing them in.  Plus her presence will help others bring in clients.  I've worked on matters where clients have business before a government agency, and we have a former high level person from that agency at the firm.  We consult with them about strategy, how the agency thinks, what our next steps should be, not to mention the substantive knowledge of the law.  We also utilize these people for personal connections, so we can actually get the government to sit down and talk with us.  And we sell this expertise to current and prospective clients.  Having former government lawyers in the partnership is fantastic for businesss.

          •  hey! i thought you were on... (1+ / 0-)

            Recommended by:

            ...your 'last word' :)

            welcome back.  

            but, seriously, you can't honestly believe this particular hiring, along with the other two, passes the 'bullshit' test?  

            she could have gone to skadden or to any other firm---as she suggests---that would have offered her more...same prestige and all the rest.  

            actually--i would choose skadden if i were going to work in 'white collar' stuff.  but, that is besides the point.

            you just whistle through here and say 'nothing going on...nothing to see here...all is just humky-dorey'  most confusing...

            •  three (0 / 0)

              LOL - of course I'm back!  I'm a Kossack and can't stay away from an argument!

              Just so I'm clear, the three are 1. Yang, 2. Comstock and 3. Fuchs?  I can't say a word about Comstock.  Just don't know anything.  Didn't she show up in the Libby trial?  Eh.  But it doesn't surprise me that Fuchs would go to Gibson along with Yang.  It's a good match for the same reasons, and I can see why he'd head to the firm where his former boss found a home.

              Skadden is great although not the same in LA as NY.  Even if objectively it would be better, she has friends and (sadly) a welcome place for Republicans over at Gibson.

              I guess, being the lawyer at a large law firm that I am, I understand the legal market (which really isn't all that big in LA) and the business and the non-corrupt explanation of this just makes too much sense to me.  

  •  It truly is an infestation of (1+ / 0-)

    Recommended by:
    james risser

    corrupt, immoral, greedy, selfish, murderous sycophants.

    The GOP is made up of the worst the country has to offer.

    Those that call themselves Republican and have any moral character at all should abandon that party with haste less the stench seeps indelibly into their very skin.

    (-7.25, -6.41) We at Daily Kos must demand more of our country and of our political representatives.

    by Pescadero Bill on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 11:05:27 AM PDT

  •  I think she was encouraged to resign so (2+ / 0-)

    Recommended by:
    Cottagerose, james risser

    that a nonthreat could be put in her place. Also seeing the impending Whitehouse meltdown, surely there was the promise of tons of money in the "crisis-management practice group". Law firms are lining up to be the firewall between the crooks and the Democratic Congress. It's the most lucrative ticket in town with plenty of work.

    "I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self." --Aristotle

    by java4every1 on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 11:35:41 AM PDT

  •  Oh, Gibson Dunn is a fun firm: (2+ / 0-)

    Recommended by:
    Dinclusin, james risser

    March 13, 2007, 1:44 pm
    Gibson Dunn Used "Legal Thuggery," Say Montana Supremes
    Posted by Paul Davies

    russellIt’s probably not the best day to be a senior partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. The Montana Supreme Court earlier today upheld a $9.9 million punitive damage award against the firm, finding that Gibson Dunn acted with "actual malice" in suing an art expert who declared a painting with the signature of C.M. Russell was done by Olaf C. Seltzer, thus greatly reducing its value. Here’s the 105-page opinion.

    The court found that the firm, which employs about 800 lawyers, acted with a "high level of misconduct" and is using the courts as a "tool" in an attempt to intimidate Steve Seltzer, a Montana painter and Olaf’s grandson, who is an expert in his grandfather’s work. Gibson Dunn’s "use of the judicial system amounts to legal thuggery," the state Supreme Court said.


  •  Rep. Lewis' Response (2+ / 0-)

    Recommended by:
    Tuba Les, james risser

    As an FYI, Rep. Lewis represents my district in Calif. I emailed him about the subject:

    [His response to the question specifically about both the SD attorney Lam and the LA attorney Wong]

    Dear Mr. Butler:

        Thank you for contacting me regarding President Bush's decision to replace a number of U.S. Attorneys. I appreciate you taking the time to get in touch.

        As you may know, all U.S. Attorneys are political appointees and serve at the pleasure of the President, which means they can be replaced at any time. The new appointments are subject to Senate approval, which gives Senators an opportunity to voice concerns about the qualifications of the appointees. Although this process was changed somewhat as part of the U.S. Patriot Act reauthorization, Congress has voted to reaffirm the need for Senate confirmation of new U.S. Attorney appointments.

        As with any executive agency, Congress has an oversight role to ensure that the Justice Department is meeting its mandate to enforce the nation's laws. In the numerous hearings that have been held regarding the replacement of the U.S. Attorneys, no evidence has been presented that these decisions has in any way undermined on-going investigations or any other operations.

        Thank you again for contacting me regarding this matter. I will keep your views in mind as we continue oversight of the Justice Department.

    [end quote]

  •  Time for an Independent Prosecutor (2+ / 0-)

    Recommended by:
    Cottagerose, james risser
    With this issue exploding along with four or five major issues from Wisconsin to California to New Mexico to the "lost" emails, the only way we are going to get to the bottom of these issues is to demand an independent prosecutor.  Then the Senat e and House committees can then begin working on heating up one of any number of other corruption issues.
  •  The first time I saw Lewis on TV.... (1+ / 0-)

    Recommended by:
    james risser

    I smelled corruption. Not even a US Congressman can afford those perfectly fitting suits. He never looked the C-SPAN camera in the eye. His comments to his staff was with a hand in front of his mouth. the other Jerry

    •  him? (0 / 0)

      Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

      i am not a crook!

    •  And I smell something else (0 / 0)

      My take on Imus, McGuirk and Rosenberg. (0 / 0)

      Even though WFAN and MSNBC is national, the New York metropolitan area is their base. I'm talking specificaly about white sports fans of Italian, Jewish and Irish decent. They hate blacks except when they're making home runs, scoring touchdowns and appearing on Fox News.

      Their parents fled NYC in the 50s and 60s for Levittown and Paramus. In South Carolina and Georgia, we welcomed our new neighbors. You'd never hear such crap coming from a white man down here.

      by dishrag on Tue Apr 10, 2007 at 04:52:54 PM EDT

  •  How does David Dayen know (0+ / 0-)

    Recommended by:
    james risser

    that Ms. Yang was paid $1.5 million by Gibson Dunn?  That kind of information is highly highly confidential.  

    •  I see (1+ / 0-)

      Recommended by:
      james risser

      following the links back, it appears that it was reported by the American Lawyer.

    •  yes it was the american lawyer... (0 / 0)

      ...need a sub to get it, but, i assume this s.f. attorneyblooging at huffington post is reliable.

      Actually, the Lewis prosecution was being handled in Los Angeles by U.S. Attorney Debra Wong Yang, who also left in late 2006. Ms. Yang, who reportedly received $1.5 million to join Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, the firm of Bush water carrier Theodore Olsen, denies that she was part of the purge and says it was a personal financial decision. TPM suspects otherwise.

      Given the egregious facts of the Cunningham case, the successful prosecution would have won Lam immunity from removal in any administration that gave a damn about corruption in government or the appearance of a vindictive termination. But these folks are way beyond that.

      the journal is supposed to be available on lexis, but, it isn't.  i went back to this attorney post to verify it as best i could.  that would make three sources...

      i also checked the journal's website and the article does exist under that title.

      thanks for keeping me on my toes!

    •  yeah, how do I know? (0 / 0)

      D-Day, the newest blog on the internet (at the moment of its launch)

      by dday on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 05:17:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  they've done it again... (1+ / 0-)

    Recommended by:
    james risser

    just when you thought they've pulled off the most depraved act of government corruption, they go and buy off prosecutors WHO SOMEHOW GET AWAY WITH IT!!!

    Holy fucking SHIT.

  •  Isn't this like hiring a policeman arresting you (1+ / 0-)

    Recommended by:
    james risser

    ...to be your bodyguard before the arrest?

    I know this is a silly question, but doesn't this amount to some form of bribery?

  •  Exactly what was the 'more lucrative' offer? (1+ / 0-)

    Recommended by:
    james risser

    She supposedly turned down? Procurement office at Halliburton? Barbara Bush food taster? Definately a conflict of interest, should be investigated and the Lewis investigation should be studied thuroughly.

  •  Goodness gracious (1+ / 0-)

    Recommended by:
    james risser

    great balls of fire

  •  Bravo! (1+ / 0-)

    Recommended by:
    james risser

    For chasing down Debra Wong Yang's aborted probe of Lewis and joining law firm of Lewis' defense atty with fat signing bonus, etc. Whatever her true motives, her actions are worth questioning to find out what her motives were. And is the Lewis probe continuing actively or is it now dormant? Yang sounds like everything is cool and the probe goes on but these things are tightly held so how would she know -- and how would we know?

    In case not mentioned upthread (apologies if so), also see leveymg's masterful diary on Cerberus Capital Management, a mega-hedge fund ($30 billion, lotta money), main owner of Israel's largest bank (Leumi Bank), and privatizer of many aspects of Pentagon and MI complex, including giving contract to privatize (deliver shoddy services to) Walter Reed via a contract to IAP Worldwide Services. This is tip of iceberg -- the connections go on and on and levymg's diary is must-read (highest impact diary on Mar 10).

    Literally King of the Hill as chairman of House Appropriations Committee, per leveymg's Cerberus diary, Rep. Jerry Lewis was main interface between Cerberus and Congress. Among other "interfaces" (dare we call him a carrier of kickbacks?) was this one:

    Cerberus donated $100,000 at a single fundraiser to Rep. Jerry Lewis, fmr. Chair of the House Appropriations Comm., who served as intermediary to distribute money to fellow GOP lawmakers favored by Cerberus.

    There was also a question of whether U.S. Atty Carol Lam was starting a probe of Jerry Lewis around the time Kyle Sampson was saying Lam was "a big problem" (the 5-11-06 LA Times story announcing Lam's probe of Lewis was taken down off the LAT website). Sen. Specter during the Sampson hearing twice referenced Lam starting her probe of Lewis around the time she was fired, although I've not seen any other authoritative sources Lam was looking into Lewis and do not trust Specter to be well informed. Does anybody know for sure (with sources) whether Lam was starting a Lewis probe before she was fired? And if so, is that probe still active or is it now dormant?

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