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HOH’s One-Minute Recess: Harman Makes a (Quiet) Entrance

Embattled Rep. Jane Harman apparently didn’t let a little wiretapping scandal spoil her Tuesday night.

The California Democrat managed to make it to the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s glitzy “Welcome to Washington— event, although she kept a low profile. HOH spotted the Congresswoman entering the theater in darkness just after the curtain went up, and then saw her slip out while performers gave their final bows.

[IMGCAP(1)]Held at the Sidney Harman Hall — a building named in honor of the Congresswoman’s husband, audio equipment magnate Sidney Harman — the event featured performances from several area theater groups including the Arena Stage, Washington Ballet and Washington National Opera.

The night was designed to introduce the Obama administration and new Members of Congress to the D.C. arts scene (first lady Michelle Obama was the guest of honor). Several Members of Congress, including Harman, served as honorary chairs of the event, alongside Supreme Court justices and the British ambassador.

On any other night, Harman’s appearance at a Shakespeare Theatre event would not even be notable — the Congresswoman and her husband are longtime patrons of the theatre and donated $20 million to help build the state-of-the-art hall, which opened in 2007 — but Harman has been under fire this week, facing allegations that in 2005 she was taped offering to seek leniency for two accused spies in return for help in lobbying Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for the House Intelligence Committee chairmanship.

Harman has gone on a public offensive against those charges, writing a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking him to release the transcripts of those taped conversations and calling for an investigation into the possible wiretapping of other lawmakers.

Just before she made it to the theater on Tuesday night, Harman appeared on at least two cable television news shows denying the accusations and again demanding an investigation.

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