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Tuesday
Mar012011

Issa Fires Spokesman In Wake Of Leaked Emails Scandal

House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA). Photo Courtesy - ABC News.(WASHINGTON) -- House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa fired his spokesman Kurt Bardella on Tuesday after Bardella leaked emails from reporters to a New York Times journalist working on a book on Washington.

On Monday evening, Politico reported that Bardella had supplied the New York Times' Mark Leibovich with emails that he had exchanged with reporters. Issa told Politico that he would investigate the matter. On Tuesday, he announced Bardella’s firing.

"While our review of allegations raised by Politico is not yet complete, it has become clear that the committee's Deputy Communications Director Kurt Bardella did share reporter e-mail correspondence with New York Times journalist Mark Leibovich for a book project," Issa said in a statement Tuesday. "Though limited, these actions were highly inappropriate, a basic breach of trust with the reporters it was his job to assist, and inconsistent with established communications office policies. As a consequence, his employment has been terminated."

Despite Issa's swift firing of Bardella, the scandal could prove damaging, since the congressman is the Republicans' chief watchdog, overseeing a committee that regularly handles high-profile Congressional investigations.

The book project stemmed from a Nov. 2010 request from Leibovich. Bardella's bosses granted the request, but sharing emails with reporters was never part of the plan, Issa noted.

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