Another day, another advance by CQ’s Jeff Stein on his Harman-AIPAC story…
Late last night, Stein reported that, after Alberto Gonzales quashed the FBI probe into Rep. Harman for political reasons, intelligence officials, angry about Gonzo’s move, told Nancy Pelosi about the wiretap that had picked up Harman talking to a suspected Israeli agent — defying the AG’s order that Pelosi not be informed.
That was how Pelosi learned about the wiretap — not through an official briefing, as she implied yesterday in comments to reporters.
“She knew. We made sure she knew,” one of the former intel officials told Stein, chuckling.
It’s unclear how informing Pelosi — then the House minority leader — would have served the interests of the intel officials who wanted to investigate Harman. Perhaps they felt that, if they couldn’t continue the probe, they could at least make sure Harman paid a political price.
They may have been successful in that regard. Pelosi didn’t appoint Harman to the job she was seeking — House Intelligence chair — and there have been suggestions that this was in part because Pelosi knew about the wiretap issue.
In another development yesterday, the office of Rep. Silvestre Reyes, who got that intel chair job Harman wanted, announced that he’ll begin an investigation into the Harman incident, as well as that New York Times report from last week about another incident of a member of Congress being wiretapped.