Saturday, October 21, 2006

Harman calls TED OLSON to represent her

* Time:
"Exclusive: Feds Probe a Top Democrat's Relationship with AIPAC
The Department of Justice is investigating whether Rep. Jane Harman and the pro-Israel group worked together to get her reappointed as the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.

Did a Democratic member of Congress improperly enlist the support of a major pro-Israel lobbying group to try to win a top committee assignment? That's the question at the heart of an ongoing investigation by the FBI and Justice Department prosecutors, who are examining whether Rep. Jane Harman of California and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) may have violated the law in a scheme to get Harman reappointed as the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, according to knowledgeable sources in and out of the U.S. government.

The sources tell TIME that the investigation by Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which has simmered out of sight since about the middle of last year, is examining whether Harman and AIPAC arranged for wealthy supporters to lobby House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi on Harman's behalf. Harman said Thursday in a voicemail message that any investigation of — or allegation of improper conduct by — her would be "irresponsible, laughable and scurrilous." On Friday, Washington GOP super lawyer Ted Olson left voicemail messages underscoring that Harman has no knowledge of any investigation.
The case is a spin-off of a probe that has already led to charges under the Espionage Act against two AIPAC lobbyists, whose case is still pending, and to a 12-and-a-half-year prison sentence for former Defense Intelligence Agency official Lawrence A. Franklin.
The sources say the probe also involves whether, in exchange for the help from AIPAC, Harman agreed to help try to persuade the Administration to go lighter on the AIPAC officials caught up in the ongoing investigation. If that happened, it might be construed as an illegal quid pro quo, depending on the context of the situation."
I wouldn't be surprised if this was true.

the oddest thing in the story? Harman calls TED OLSON to represent her. that's just great.

Relatedly or not, one other thing I've been meaning mention which stuck out from Larisa's article last week:
Franklin would later plead guilty to passing classified information to Israel in the AIPAC spy scandal – which has now also engulfed both Hadley and his former boss, current US Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice.
AFAIK, there's not a lot of recent public information to indicate the Rice and/or Hadley have been 'engulfed' in the case.

Is there something we don't know?


emptywheel said...

Condi's involved because Rosen and Weissman have called her to testify during the trial. They assert she leaked the same information they were leaking (I think she leaked it to Rosen), suggesting either that it was no longer classified or that such behavior in no way constitutes exceptional leaking.

lukery said...

thanks ew - yeah - i was just curious why larisa mentioned it. that sentence of hers seemed to jump out at me for some reason.