The more you stare at this scandal, the more you feel like one of the proverbial blind men trying to figure out what the hell that elephant is. From ThinkProgress, here is what fired US Attorney Carol Lam might have been investigating:
To recap, the White House awarded a one-month, $140,000 contract to an individual who never held a federal contract. Two weeks after he got paid, that same contractor used a cashier’s check for exactly that amount to buy a boat for a now-imprisoned congressman at a price that the congressman had pre-negotiated.
That should raise questions about the White House’s involvement.
The White House bribing congresscritters? Yes, it should raise questions.
related issue: According to the Washington Post, the administration might have pressured US Attorneys into letting tobacco companies off the hook:
Sharon Eubanks said Bush loyalists in Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ office began micromanaging the team’s strategy in the final weeks of the 2005 trial, to the detriment of the government’s claim that the industry had conspired to lie to U.S. smokers.
She said a supervisor demanded that she and her trial team drop arguments that tobacco executives be removed from their corporate positions as a possible penalty. He and two others instructed her to tell key witnesses to change their testimony. And they ordered Eubanks to read verbatim from a closing argument they rewrote for her, she said…
News reports on the strategy changes at the time caused an uproar in Congress and sparked an inquiry by the Justice Department. Government witnesses said they had been asked to change testimony and one expert withdrew from the case. Government lawyers also announced that they were scaling back a proposed penalty against the industry from $130 billion to $10 billion.