Darrell Issa fires spokesman Kurt Bardella

Top GOP oversight official Rep. Darrell Issa fired his spokesman, Kurt Bardella, Tuesday for sharing his email correspondence with reporters with Mark Leibovich, a New York Times journalist working on a book about the political culture in Washington.

Issa said in a written statement the shared emails were “limited” but “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.”

When the issue came to Issa’s attention, Bardella told his boss “he saw this as an opportunity to contribute a narrative about what a press secretary does on Capitol Hill and was not about offering salacious details designed to settle scores or embarrass anyone. My review of materials thus far supports that characterization,” Issa said.

Bardella, 27, has been instrumental in Issa’s rise to prominence in recent years but encountered controversy following comments he made that were published in a New Yorker article by Ryan Lizza in January.

Issa said his review of Bardella’s actions thus far shows the shared emails did not reveal any confidential committee information or correspondence between Republican aides.

“There is 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,” Issa said.