In March of 2005, Alberto Gonzales' chief of staff sent White House counsel Harriet Miers a list rating U.S. attorneys.
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Certain prosecutors were rated âstrong U.S. Attorneys who have produced, managed well, and exhibited loyalty to the President and Attorney General," others had not "distinguished themselves either positively or negatively, and others Sampson ârecommend[ed] removing" -- those were âweak U.S. Attorneys who have been ineffectual managers and prosecutors, chafed against Administration initiatives.â
Carol Lam was one of the prosecutors Sampson recommended removing.
This was, of course, a full three months before the Duke Cunningham scandal came to light. The San Diego Union-Tribune broke the story on June 12, 2005.* So does that mean that Lam really was removed for other reasons?
Well, Sampson also wrote this list a number of months before Republicans started raising complaints about Lam's handling of border cases. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who led the charge against Lam, began publicly raising concerns in the summer of 2005.*
And while the list makes clear that Lam, one way or another, got on Sampson's hit list, it's very unclear whether that was because of some deficiency in performance.