Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has hired Patrick Fallon, former chief of the FBI’s Financial Crimes Section, according to two sources familiar with the move.
It’s a significant hire that will bring expertise to the committee’s efforts to scrutinize President Donald Trump’s financial dealings. A committee source told The Daily Beast that Fallon started this week.
Schiff announced earlier this year that the committee will look at Trump’s finances to see if his personal interests are influencing his decisions as president. “That pertains to any credible allegations of leverage by the Russians or the Saudis or anyone else,” he said, according to CNN.
Frank Figliuzzi, former Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division, called Fallon’s hiring significant.
“The fact that the Committee has hired someone at the former senior executive service level from within the FBI’s Financial Crimes Section is significant, and to me denotes an effort to apply significant resources to examining and analyzing financial findings,” Figliuzzi said. “By the time you got to the head of the Financial Crimes section, you would have substantial white collar crime and global financial crime experience, both at the street level and the supervisory level. And his role at headquarters would have had him overseeing the bulk of all financial crime cases in the FBI.”
Chuck Rosenberg, who worked at the FBI at the same time as Fallon as chief of staff to then-Director James Comey, said Fallon is widely respected.
“He was a terrific agent and he’ll be a great addition to the committee,” said Rosenberg. “He’s thorough, diligent, and dogged.”
This won't be Fallon's first time working on a team scrutinizing the White House; during Bill Clinton's presidency, he was one of the FBI agents working on Independent Counsel Ken Starr’s probe of the president, and called Monica Lewinsky's lawyer on her behalf while Starr’s team questioned her. Fallon started at the FBI in 1992, according to his LinkedIn page, and left in 2017.
Congressional probes of the Trump administration have already generated fevered fights between the Hill and the White House.
Last week, a top Justice Department official skipped appearing for a deposition, despite a subpoena from Rep. Elijah Cummings, chairman of the Oversight and Reform Committee. Meanwhile, Attorney General Bill Barr is threatening not to appear for a House Judiciary Committee hearing if the chairman, Rep. Jerry Nadler, insists on having committee lawyers question him.
Late Monday, Trump, his adult children, and the Trump Organization sued to keep two banks from sharing his financial information with Congress.