Sen. Charles E. Schumer's spokesman, Brian E. Fallon, is leaving the "war room" to be the top communicator at the Justice Department, sources confirmed to CQ Roll Call.
Fallon will remain with the New York Democrat's office until the Senate completes work on the immigration overhaul that's due on the Senate floor next month. Schumer is one of the leading members of the "gang of eight" senators that drafted the plan. During the course of the Judiciary Committee's markup of the bill, Fallon was tireless, leading an operation that sent out countless updates to reporters on the minutiae of the amendment process.
Fallon saw his sphere of influence increase when Schumer and Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., merged the Democratic Communications Center with the Democratic Policy Committee at the start of the last Congress.
When he moves to the Justice Department, Fallon will have the difficult task of speaking for Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., and dealing with press corps concerns in the aftermath of the revelation that Fox News reporter James Rosen was identified as a possible law-breaker in court documents in which the Justice Department obtained a search warrant for Rosen's emails as part of a leak investigation.
On Wednesday, House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte, R-Va., and subpanel chairman Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., sent a letter to Holder seeking an explanation for apparent discrepancies in testimony before the House.
That followed an earlier case in which the Justice Department obtained phone records of Associated Press reporters and editors as part of a separate leak investigation in a terrorism matter. Holder reportedly plans to meet with top Washington editors about the relationship between the Justice Department and the press.
Aside from immigration, Fallon's current boss is reviving an effort to pass a media shield law with the support of the Obama administration.
Fallon is married to Katie Beirne, another longtime Schumer aide who landed at the White House after being staff director of the Senate Democratic Policy and Communications Center. They're not the only pair of Schumer aides to marry.