Harman Asks DOJ to Release Wiretap Transcripts

Posted April 21, 2009 at 11:19am

Hoping to clear her name in the wake of allegations that she made a deal with a suspected Israeli agent to advance her position in Congress, Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) on Tuesday hit back by calling on Attorney General Eric Holder to release all materials related to possible wiretapped conversations between her and relevant lobbyists.

A news story in Congressional Quarterly on Sunday alleged that Harman tried to quash a federal spy case against two officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in return for help lobbying Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for the gavel of the House Intelligence Committee.

But in a letter to Holder, Harman decried the “outrageous— abuse of power by the National Security Administration in wiretapping her conversations and called on the attorney general to release all transcripts of wiretapped conversations involving her.

“It is my intention to make this material available to the public,— Harman said.

The California Democrat, who was passed over by Pelosi for the chairmanship of the Intelligence Committee in 2006, also urged Holder to investigate possible wiretapping of other Members of Congress and “selective leaks of investigative material which can be used for political purposes.—

“As you know, it is entirely appropriate to converse with advocacy organizations and constituent groups, and I am concerned about a chilling effect on other elected officials who may find themselves in my situation,— said Harman.

Harman reiterated that she never contacted the Justice Department or the White House to seek favorable treatment regarding national security cases on which she was briefed.