According to the TheBlaze a Justice Department senior official, whose name is currently being withheld, mistakenly contacted the office of Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and asked the staffers to leak documents in the ongoing investigation into the IRS targeting of conservative groups at the request of the Democrats.
The documents involved information regarding former IRS employee, Andrew Strelka. The senior Justice official, who mistakenly contacted Issa’s staff instead of another office, asked staffers to leak the information to the press so the Justice Department could comment on the information before Republicans publicly released it. Documents which could seriously ruin the investigation and give the Obama Administration an upper hand.
Issa’s staffers recognizing the significance of the erroneous phone call played along, requesting the documents to be sent over. The senior Justice official then put them on hold but realized his unfortunate mix-up and called off the entire leak.
Issa wrote a concerning letter to Attorney General Eric Holder.
I write with serious concerns stemming from telephone call my staff received late on Friday afternoon from the Justice Department’s Office of Public Affairs (OPA) about the Committees’ ongoing investigation into the Internal Revenue Services’ targeting of conservative tax- exempt applicants,” Issa wrote. “A senior OPA official– under the apparent mistaken belief he had called the staff of Ranking Member Elijah E Cummings – asked if the Committee would release Committee documents to the media so that the Department could publicly comment on the material….This effort to preemptively release incomplete and selectively chosen information undermines the Department’s claims that it is responding in good faith
Issa gave General Holder an explicit deadline of Monday, September 15 to provide him with the appropriate information.
“The department’s efforts to prejudice the committee’s oversight work demands examination,” Issa wrote. “I ask that you provide a detailed explanation for each of the department’s ex parte communications with the minority members or staff about committee investigations or strategies for blocking and undermining oversight.”