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Clinton team picks Justice spokesman Brian Fallon as lead press secretary

Hillary Clinton speaks during a news conference last week at United Nations headquarters. (Reuters/Mike Segar)

Hillary Rodham Clinton's press shop is taking shape, with word Tuesday that longtime Democratic spokesman Brian Fallon will be the lead press secretary for the yet-to-be-announced campaign.

Fallon, currently the top spokesman for the Justice Department, told his staff Tuesday morning that he will leave at the end of the month.

Fallon's name has been circulating for weeks as a likely addition to the Clinton team, and two senior Democrats familiar with the campaign plan said Tuesday that he will hold the top spokesman's job.

Fallon is expected to begin work at the campaign in April. Clinton is expected to announce an exploratory committee early that month, followed by a formal start to daily campaigning later in the spring.

Fallon was formerly the top spokesman for Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and was considered one of the most skilled Democratic communicators on Capitol Hill. “Brian Fallon is one of the smartest and most talented people who has ever worked for me and will serve Hillary Clinton extremely well,” Schumer said in a statement.

Generally well-regarded by reporters, Fallon joins an emerging Clinton press team known for good relations with the press. That stands in contrast to the sometimes toxic relations that developed between the 2008 Clinton campaign and reporters covering her.

Longtime Democratic strategist Jennifer Palmieri is leaving her post as White House communications director to hold the same title for Clinton. Her last day at the White House is March 20.

Former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee communications director Jesse Ferguson will handle day-to-day press duties at the campaign headquarters in New York, the Democratic sources said. Both requested anonymity because Clinton has not yet announced her campaign or formally hired staff.

Ferguson has been traveling between Washington and New York to hire junior press team members, including for regional press desks and deployment to Iowa and New Hampshire.

Also in the Clinton press lineup will be Josh Schwerin, who was spokesman for the DCCC during the 2014 midterm elections. Current Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill is expected to remain in a prominent role. All bring established relationships with reporters.

Attorney General Eric Holder hired Fallon in 2013. He is married to  White House legislative director Katie Beirne Fallon.

This story has been updated