Justice Department officials told congressional investigators that Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, President Obama’s nominee to lead the Labor Department, repeatedly violated a federal transparency law, according to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
“This letter concedes that you have committed at least 34 separate violations of the Federal Records Act and that you only addressed these violations after receiving the Committee’s subpoena,” House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., wrote to Perez today, referring to a letter he received from DOJ this morning. (Read the letter embedded below this post.) “I am disappointed that you continue to resist the Committee’s oversight duties and that you have chosen to not fully comply with the terms of the subpoena issued on April 10, 2013.”
Issa also faulted Perez for using his private email account to leak information to the New York Times. “In another e-mail from you to the same New York Times reporter about the Department’s settlement with Countrywide Financial Corporation in December 2011, you again appeared to provide him with non-public information,” Isaa wrote. “You wrote: ‘[J]ust closed deal 15 minutes ago. Will announce tomorrow at 3.’ These e-mails, as well as the other e-mails reviewed in camera, were not captured by Department records systems until after the committee issued its subpoena.”
Perez, when asked this morning if he thought it was ethical to disclose such information ahead of its non-public release, said he would need to have more context about the email exchange to answer the question.