Posted on April 23, 2009
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/23/us/politics/23rivals.html?ref=usOn Wednesday, during a round-table discussion with reporters at the Capitol, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she had been briefed as part of a routine process in which Congressional leaders are informed whenever a lawmaker is picked up on a wiretap. Ms. Pelosi said she was given no details and was not allowed to inform Representative Jane Harman, Democrat of California.
Ms. Pelosi also pointed out that Ms. Harman was apparently not a target of the original surveillance program, and insisted that knowledge of this incident did play a role in her decision when nominating someone for the House Intelligence Committee position after Democrats won the majority in 2006.
The only reason Jane is not the chairman is because she already served the two terms, Ms. Pelosi said. It had nothing to do with her position on Iraq. It had nothing to do with donors, nothing to do with eavesdropping, wiretapping. It had nothing to do with anything. It had only to do with the fact that this extraordinarily talented member of Congress had served her two terms.
This clash over the committee post was once again brought back to head this week after confirmed reports of Ms. Harman being recorded agreeing to intercede on behalf of pro-Israel lobby, American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), who at the time were under investigation on charges of violating the Espionage Act, in exchange for helping press the Speaker to nominate her for the intelligence committee position.
Ms. Harman has denied all accusations and has demanded the government release a full transcript of the wire-tapped call so her words are not taken out of context.