The Justice Department tried to coordinate with congressional Democrats to shape media coverage of the IRS’s improper scrutiny of conservative groups, according to a top House Republican.
Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said in a Monday letter to Attorney General Eric Holder that a senior Justice press official, apparently seeking staffers for Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), mistakenly called Issa’s aides on Friday.
During that call, the press official said the department wanted congressional staffers to get documents to selected reporters so that Justice could comment on the materials “before the majority” could share them, according to the account in Issa’s letter.
After an Issa aide said Oversight staffers would have to examine the documents first, the Justice official placed the call on hold for three minutes and then returned to the line “audibly shaken,” Issa says in the letter.
The Justice official then said there had been a “change in plans,” that no documents would be released on Friday and that the main reason for the call was to seek a thaw in relations between the department and Oversight Republicans.
Issa didn’t name names, but some puke named Brian Fallon admitted he made the call.
Issa’s letter does not name the administration official or the three members of his own staff that were on the call on Friday. But Brian Fallon, a top spokesman for Holder, and a congressional aide confirmed that Fallon spoke Friday with Frederick Hill, a longtime Issa aide and spokesman.
You’ll never guess who Fallon used to work for.
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.
Even more curious is who Fallon is married to.
Fallon is married to Katie Beirne, another longtime Schumer aide who landed at the White House after being staff director of the Senate Democratic Policy and Communications Center. They’re not the only pair of Schumer aides to marry.
Katie Beirne Fallon, a former top staffer to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), will be named White House Legislative Affairs director – a move intended to shore up a Hill operation that has long needed stronger leadership in the view of many congressional Democrats, POLITICO has learned.
Fallon, a deputy communications director who has been working in the West Wing only since the late summer, will replace the well-liked but little-known Miguel Rodriguez, a longtime Obama staffer who was appointed to guide the office through the post-election transition period.
Fallon, according to West Wing officials, will have much more stature and authority, akin to that enjoyed by Rob Nabors, the former legislative director now serving as an Obama deputy chief of staff. White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough picked her, in part, because of her close ties to Senate Democratic leaders and recently arranged a meeting with between Obama and Fallon to “diagnose the challenges the White House faces with the Hill and come up with a plan for addressing them,” according to a person close to the situation.
He’s got a plan to cover up the IRS scandal, that’s for sure. It’s called obstruction of justice.
So to recap, a Justice Department henchman who’s married to a top White House aide is coordinating with Congress to help spin possible crimes. Got it.
It’s quite obvious there’s a need for a special prosecutor here since we now have the so-called “Justice Department” trying to cover up Obama’s possible IRS crimes. Of course a story like this would normally have the media in a feeding frenzy, but Obama’s special, so move along.