Top Eric Holder Aide Tracy Schmaler To Leave DOJ

WASHINGTON -- Tracy Schmaler, a top aide to Attorney General Eric Holder who has been working in the Justice Department's public affairs shop since 2009, is leaving DOJ to join a public relations firm founded by former White House senior advisor David Axelrod.

Schmaler, whose last day will be March 8, has been DOJ's top flack throughout the congressional investigation into ATF's Operation Fast and Furious as well as DOJ's defense of the Affordable Care Act. She'll be joining ASGK Public Strategies as managing director, heading a new practice group that will focus on crisis communications as well as litigation, regulatory and congressional matters.

"While I am sad to lose one of my closest and most trusted advisors, I am grateful to Tracy for her wise counsel, loyalty, good humor and unwavering support of me and the Justice Department over the last four years," Holder said in a statement. "Tracy has been a valued member of my senior staff and a good friend whose tireless spirit and keen judgment have served me and this Department well. She will be truly missed, though I wish her all the best in her future endeavors."