Issa fires spokesman for allegedly leaking reporter e-mails

By David Edwards
Tuesday, March 1, 2011 14:29 EDT
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House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) Tuesday fired a top spokesman who allegedly shared secret e-mail conversations with a reporter.

Kurt Bardella is thought to have given New York Times journalist Mark Leibovich, who was writing about book about Washington’s political culture, e-mails from his exchanges with other reporters.

“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 wrote in a statement. “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.”

Issa explained that in reviewing the e-mails, he had spoken with both Bardella and Leibovich, and that there was “no evidence to support speculation that internal committee or congressional documents or conversations were inappropriately shared, that Mark Leibovich ever inappropriately heard or recorded any phone conversation, or that any official rule violations occurred.”

“The inappropriate information shared with Mark Leibovich appears to have been limited to Kurt’s own correspondence with reporters,” he added.

For his part, Leibovich declined to comment on what information he had received from Issa’s spokesman.

“The book is not going to be published for a long time,” he said. “Beyond that I can’t talk about any arrangements I have with sources or subjects for the book.”

In a New Yorker profile of Issa earlier this year, Bardella called some reporters “lazy as hell.”

“There are times when I pitch a story and they do it word for word,” he said. “That’s just embarrassing.”

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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  • Robert Shaftoe

    So I guess he won’t be asking Cheney or Scooter Libby to work for him.

  • kiboshki

    Ah, that’s really too bad. Bardella the scumbag was such a good fit for Issa the scumbag.

  • gypski®

    If anyone should be under investigation, its Darrell Issa. He’s another lackey for the corporatists and under miner of the people. A thorough investigation of Issa would make Rangel’s look like a witchhunt.

  • Anonymous

    Ahhh–I love the smell of Republican transparency in the morning!! You know one time we had a debate on energy policy in this country and when it was all over not one goddamn name of any of the participants was ever released. Not one! Not one scrap of information got out. That’s Republican transparency. It smells like corporatist victory!

    Apologies to Kilgore!

  • Anonymous

    Paranoia strikes deep.

  • ladygeek

    Well, I guess Issa is well-suited to security details considering he made his money on car alarms. Never heard of him in the tech industry though.

  • Anonymous

    Issa (r cal), a turn coat inventor, and Conyers (d mich)……….both are total corporation goons………
    they are trying to screw the small independent inventors……………..
    so canning someone………………no big deal……..

  • Scuby

    “There are times when I pitch a story and they do it word for word,” he said. “That’s just embarrassing.”
    Yeah…..they call it “qoutation”. Its done all the time moron!

  • gypski®

    I think it was his experience as a car thief that gave him the knowledge to compromise car security systems, then easily enhance them. Just like hiring a hacker for computer security.

  • ThorsteinVeblen2012

    I’ve met Darryl Issa. He’s a petty angry punk.

  • Ed Dominguez

    Why is it Issa wants mine yours Obama’s Ried, Boxers access to e-mails bank accounts all out in the open but not his own. Some how his e-mails are private but not mine. I may have nothing to hide but that alone does not give you access to my data. This asshole tried time after time that Bush/Chaney e-mail private, but somehow Obama staff has to give every e-mail to his staff.

  • Guest

    Issa thissa guy a assa hole-ah? Oh yeah….

  • Guest

    Good catch, Scuby!

  • Anonymous

    Don’t worry Issa Wiki Leaks has it all anyway. It will just be a matter of who spills it first–them, or the book.

  • ghostof911

    Darrell Issa likes playing Red Queen: “Off with his head!”

  • ghostof911

    How long did you have to shower afterwards?

  • ghostof911

    Darrell Issa, America’s great success story. From car thief to the fourth richest member of Congress.

    Why was Mr. Issa so concerned about getting the al Qaeda recruiter Raymond Davis back to the United States?

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Even assuming there really is nothing of substance in the emails…the real issue is the vigorous anti-leak culture being discretely moved into place in DC culture and elsewhere. Wikileaks has sensitized both corporate and government personnel to the risks of being tolerant about loose lipped staff.

    My advice to would be leakers would be to stay silent like moles…until you have something incredibly damning. Don’t shoot your one wad on something trivial…only risk your ass for something that will get the crook you took it from cruci-f*cked. Stay silent, keep your nose clean…rise to the dizzying heights of power just beneath your boss…and if he or she commits some major crimes that merit total destruction…then burn that bridge when you come to it.

  • http://aol.com/ Louis G White, Jr

    Darrel Issa is an x car theif…..My girlfriend is a dental hygenist… the practice is in San Diego County and Darres brother is serving time for stealing cars for Darrel….after all he owns a alarm company….

  • Anonymous

    Darrell Issa is the one who should be fired. The entire nation will be aware of that soon enough.
    Darrell Issa is a loser.
    Darrell Issa is probably the most capable of scandal, second to Boner.

    Most likely the reason for the termination was danger of exposure of at least one of those scandals.

  • Anonymous

    Reading the Issa File is like reading the Mafia report on how many times they skipped out of prosecution. Issa now might have more problems then those he’s calling to the hearing. Time to call Karl Rove to perform his magic of making people disappear. Karl is the master of getting people killed and calling it an accident. If Issa’s employee doesn’t agree to keep all Issa’s criminal actions quiet then who knows he might have what the GOP call an addict. Cheney is old school he had an assassination squad as we saw with the assassination of Pat Tillman. Even Tillman’s fellow officers said the men who shot Pat were dressed like US soldiers but after Tillman was it in the dead center of his head, the make believe soldiers disappeared and Generals covered it up. Issa’s file makes Jack Abramoff and Bernie Madoff look like saints.

  • CozmicSeer

    This dipstick gives a whole new meaning to the term ‘crooked politician’. I find it hard to believe that he was legally elected. Or did he use some of his $250 million to make sure he was elected?

    Never put a rich man into a public office unless he’s honest and charitable. Otherwise it’s like laying down in a serpent pit. Sooner or later, you’ll be bitten in the behind.