This story is so radioactive it's hard to know which of fifty different directions to go with it. In brief, Jeff Stein at CQ has a much, much more detailed account of that story, first reported in 2006, of Rep. Jane Harman getting caught on a wiretapped phone call allegedly discussing a quid pro quo with "a suspected Israeli."
There are a lot of hairy details on this one. But the gist is that an NSA wiretap recorded Harman in a conversation with a "suspected Israeli agent" in which Harman allegedly agreed to use her influence with the DOJ to get them to drop the AIPAC spy case in exchange for help lobbying then-Speaker-in-waiting Nancy Pelosi to make Harman chair of the House Intelligence Committee -- a position she ended up not getting.
...The story suggests that the tapes show Harman crossed the line. And the gears were in motion to open a full blown investigation. But then Alberto Gonzales intervened and shutdown the whole thing.
Why? Here's where it gets into the realm of bad novel writing: because Gonzales (and the White House) needed Harman to go to bat for them on the warrantless wiretaping story that the New York Times was then on the brink of publishing.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Jane Harman, Alberto Gonzales, Wiretapping and Blackmail
This is fascinating stuff: