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September 10, 2014

Justice Dept. Official "Audibly Shaken"

Justice Dept. official asks Democratic Congressman's office to help him leak documents to the press, gets wrong number:

Apparently thinking he had reached the office of Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), Fallon said the department wanted congressional staffers to get documents to selected reporters so that officials could comment on them “before the majority” did. After Issa spokesman Frederick Hill replied that Oversight Committee staffers would have to examine those documents first, the line went silent, and Fallon placed the call on hold for three minutes.

When he returned to the line, Fallon was “audibly shaken,” according to an account of the conversation that Issa recounts in a letter sent to Holder.

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 said it’s clear that the Justice official meant to call Democratic staff and argued the mix-up is proof that President Obama’s administration and Cummings have been collaborating to “prejudice the committee’s work through under-the-table coordination.”

“This highly partisan and combative approach to oversight by the department shows a disregard for the independent investigatory prerogatives of Congress and a deliberate attempt to influence the course of a congressional investigation,” Issa wrote to Holder, adding that it was “unseemly” for the department to favor one party over the other when it came to sharing information.

The documents, Issa added in the letter, are about Andrew Strelka, a former Justice attorney that once worked for Lois Lerner, the ex-IRS official at the center of the Tea Party controversy.

Hmmm... Strelka... the name seems familiar...

We will admit to being more than a little confusicated by this whole IRS brouhaha. If this is just another phony, made up controversy, why would the Justice department work so hard at damage control? If only there were some kind of mechanism for partisan journalists to plan how best to present the White House's preferred narrative to the public...

Do we sense a Chill Wind threatening our free and independent press corps? Heaven forfend!

Posted by Cassandra at September 10, 2014 08:48 AM

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This is my shocked face :-|

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at September 10, 2014 09:52 AM

MSM have permanently demonstrated overt partisanship.

Posted by: CAPT Mike at September 13, 2014 02:08 AM