How Conveeenient

Brian Zick

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Paul Kiel at TPM Muckraker reports on the saga of Debra Wong Yang. Yang is a former United States attorney who had been investigating Jerry Lewis, GOP chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, when she abruptly resigned last October and took a new job - and a $1.5 million signing bonus - with the law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher is identified as having "strong Republican ties" in a NY Times op-ed by Adam Cohen, and it is the firm which is defending Lewis. Ms. Yang says she left for personal reasons, but there is growing evidence that the White House was intent on removing her. Kyle Sampson, the Justice Department staff member in charge of the firings, told investigators last month in still-secret testimony that Harriet Miers, the White House counsel at the time, had asked him more than once about Ms. Yang. He testified, according to Congressional sources, that as late as mid-September, Ms. Miers wanted to know whether Ms. Yang could be made to resign. The answer is, obviously, "Yes! She could be made to resign." The offer of $1.5 million dollars on top of a hefty regular paycheck would appear to have been rather a decidedly successful inducement for resignation. And Yang need not be considered complicit in any wrongdoing herself in the deal - although the mere appearance of being bought off might have given someone else pause.

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