This isn’t the first time Bardella has caused a stir. Many Republicans have complained privately that a Jan. 24 New Yorker profile of Issa — in which Bardella was quoted extensively — sent the wrong message for the leader of the party’s top investigative panel.
Bardella, 27, who had worked for Issa for two years, was quoted in the story as saying his job was to raise Issa’s profile in Washington, D.C., and “to make Darrell Issa an actual political figure.”
In the same article, Issa referred to Bardella as his “secret weapon.”
Bardella had been working with New York Times reporter Mark Leibovich since November 2010 on his book on Washington corruption; he had sought permission from his supervisors to participate, but Issa said that e-mail sharing was not raised as part of his involvement.
Issa said Tuesday that there’s no reason to believe Bardella sent internal committee or Congressional documents to Leibovich.
Several Members of the Oversight panel said they want all the facts to come out before judging Issa’s handling of the matter.
Ranking member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said, “I share Chairman Issa’s view that we need to know more.”
Rep. Gerry Connolly, another Democrat on the committee, agreed that more facts are needed, but he said Members must hold themselves to the same standard to which they hold agencies, the federal government and the private sector.
“In fact, I would urge Mr. Issa to subpoena the former spokesperson, and let’s get to the bottom of this,” the Virginian suggested.
But other committee members said Issa appears to have handled the situation: “The way I look at it I am principally concerned with making sure that I am making the right decisions, and once I am batting a thousand, then I’ll start trying to work on other people,” Gowdy said.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who briefly considered but later withdrew his bid for ranking member of the panel this Congress, said he believes Members should move on.
“He fired Mr. Bardella. I don’t know what more we can ask of him,” the Ohio Democrat said. “I think we have work to do around here that actually is going to be a lot more important than that.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.