A letter sent to Attorney General Eric Holder from Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa yesterday and first reported by Breitbart's Jonathan Strong reveals the Department of Justice works with Democrats on Capitol Hill to manipulate stories about the ongoing IRS targeting scandal.
The short version of the story is this: Holder's high ranking communications aide Brian Fallon accidentally called the Majority Office of the House Oversight Committee on behalf of the DOJ public affairs division to talk about leaking IRS info to a few friendly reporters. Fallon wanted to leak the info before Issa had the chance to get ahead of the news, further spinning the overall scandal through the media. Fallon thought he was talking to minority staffers, Democrats working for Minority Leader Elijah Cummings, on the House Oversight Committee. Oops. More from Strong:
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.
You can read the letter here. The latest IRS revelations include the Department of Justice hiding a key witness in the targeting scandal.
We also know from previous reporting that during the targeting between 2010 and 2012, the IRS's Lois Lerner was in contact with Director of the DOJ Election Crime Branch Richard Pilger about bringing criminal cases against tea party groups. Lerner expressed that getting at least one person thrown in jail in over "political activity" would set an example for the rest of the groups, eventually snuffing them out. Further, the IRS is guilty of feeding Democrats like Oversight Committee Minority Leader Elijah Cummings information about tax-exempt groups they were regularly bullying in media and in public speeches.
What an incestuous mess.
Issa said he is “disturbed” by the “apparently longstanding collaboration between the Obama administration and Ranking Member Cummings' staff to obfuscate and prejudice the Committee's work through under the table coordination.”