Harman Said to Have Agreed to Aid Lobbyists

April 21, 2009

One of the leading House Democrats on intelligence matters was overheard on telephone calls intercepted by the National Security Agency agreeing to seek lenient treatment from the Bush administration for two pro-Israel lobbyists who were under investigation for espionage, current and former government officials say.

The lawmaker, Representative Jane Harman of California, became the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee after the 2002 election and had ambitions to be its chairwoman when the party gained control of the House in 2006. One official who has seen transcripts of several wiretapped calls said she appeared to agree to intercede in exchange for help in persuading party leaders to give her the powerful post.

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(Neil A. Lewis and Mark Mazzetti, “Lawmaker is Said to Have Agreed to Aid Lobbyists,” The New York Times, 4/21/09)