Issa questions FCC on Baker departure to Comcast

House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (Calif.) wrote to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Wednesday to ask for details on the upcoming departure of Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker. 

Baker's announcement that she will leave the commission to lobby for Comcast/NBC Universal sparked outrage; critics pointed out that she voted to approve Comcast's mega-merger just months before her hiring. 

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Issa asked for more details and asked for the FCC to brief his staff on the events, according to a copy of his letter, obtained by The Hill. He acknowledged that Baker appears to have followed all the relevant ethics rules, but said he had questions nonetheless.

Issa said that "because only a short time has passed since the Comcast-NBC Universal merger, it is imperative that the public can trust the integrity of the process." 

He asked FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski five questions: which regulations apply to Baker's departure; what actions did Baker take to ensure the rules were followed; on what date did Baker notify the FCC's general counsel's office about her prospective employment; when did she recuse herself from FCC proceedings; and from which matters is she currently recused?

Baker has stated that she followed all relevant ethics rules when she decided to pursue employment at Comcast. A spokesman for Baker said that she "welcomes Chairman Issa’s interest and this additional opportunity to set forth the facts regarding her decision to leave the commission.”