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The Leak Wars: Elston Accuses Lam

I promised to come back and talk about those bits of the latest document dump that don’t support HJC’s allegations of a cover-up. In this post, I’m going to look at how DOJ tried to claim that Lam was responsible for leaks about her resignation. The discussion was a response to two local San Diego newspaper articles predicting Lam’s resignation. After complaining to the FBI director about the quotes from the Special Agent in Charge alleging Lam was fired because of politics, the clique turned to an imagined leak, presumably regarding the reasons behind Lam’s firing. Mike Elston complains:

This is remarkable. I am going to ask Brian R. to address the source of the leaks with the reporter. The fact that she is trying to make her leak appear to be from DC is outrageous.

I do not expect to hear from her on Monday. Assuming the WH removes her on Tuesday, how do you want to deal with the vacancy–for the immediate/short term, that is?

To which Kyle Sampson responds:

Monica was checking out [27 character–I think–redaction]. Anyone have any good ideas? For obvious reasons, someone [20 character redaction] would be best.

In other words, Elston is insinuating that something in the article is a leak from Lam, disguised as a leak from Main DOJ. It’s not entirely clear what Sampson’s response is–perhaps a discussion about a counter-leak? His second sentence, though, certainly suggests he and Monica are trying to hide their tracks for whatever it is they’re doing.

Presumably, the imagined the leak is the following, from the SDUT article:

Sources have told The San Diego Union-Tribune thatLam was asked to step down because she failed to make smuggling and guncases a priority, choosing instead to focus on fewer cases that sheconsidered more significant, such as public corruption and white-collarcrime.

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Marcy Wheeler aka Emptywheel is an American journalist whose reporting specializes in security and civil liberties.