A senior communications aide to Attorney General Eric Holder seemingly called House oversight committee chairman Darrell Issa’s staff by accident and asked for their help spinning new revelations about the IRS scandal, Issa said in a September 8 letter to Holder.
The aide, Brian Fallon, is a former senior aide to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and a well-known personality on Capitol Hill. The letter describes Fallon as “audibly shaken” when he realizes his request to leak documents to help get ahead of news stories about them was mistakenly made to the very office he was seeking to undermine. Issa believes the call was intended to be made to Democratic Rep. Elijah Cumming’s staff, the ranking member on the oversight panel, the letter said.
According to the letter, Fallon – who is not named in the letter but confirmed he made the call – asked if the aides could release the IRS scandal documents to “selected reporters” to give Fallon an “opportunity to comment publicly on it.”
Fallon explained to Issa aides that the Justice Department’s Office of Legislative Affairs had not permitted him to release the documents to the public and he wanted to get ahead of the story “before the Majority” – meaning Issa – could share it, according to the letter.
Issa aides – who had placed the call on speakerphone – were “caught off guard by the unusual nature of the call and the odd request” and asked Fallon to “e-mail the material for evaluation.”
“At this point,” Fallon “abruptly placed the call on hold for approximately three minutes.” When Fallon returned to the call, “he was audibly shaken. He immediately stated that there was a ‘change in plans’ and that there would be no effort” by DOJ to release the material early.
Fallon “proceeded to pitch the idea that the Department and the Committee should ‘help one another’ while simultaneously saying that ‘you need to say what you need to say.’”
In the letter, Issa told Holder the phone call suggests ongoing coordination between DOJ aides and Cummings’ staff to undermine oversight committee investigations.
The collusion between Holder and Cummings is criminal.
Getting caught was a fluke.
Issa’s letter is killer!
You know, one thing about being a criminal is you need to be smart. Apparently, this regime is even inept at their own criminal acts.
I do recall that somewhere in the reams of government documents I have read over the years, that the Justice Department is required to not discuss pending issues with anyone outside of the Justice Department except for evidence that is required to be shared with defendants and plaintiffs. I remember it is similar to the restrictions on those participating in Grand Jury Deliberations. Can anyone at FA validate or dismiss this?