Harman demands bugging transcripts

April 21, 2009 at 4:16 PM

WASHIN, D.C., April 21 (UPI) -- A California Democrat Tuesday demanded that U.S. intelligence agencies release full wiretap transcripts that purportedly show her seeking a quid pro quo.

Reports say the National Security Agency and the FBI bugged Rep. Jane Harman's conversations with lobbyists for Israel about the case of two American Israel Public Affairs Committee officials accused of spying for Israel, Politico reported.

A story in The New York Times suggested Harman demanded a quid pro quo in which she would push U.S. officials to drop or reduce the charges, and an Israeli-American financier, a major campaign contributor, would pressure incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to name Harman to head the House Intelligence Committee.

Harman vigorously denies the allegation, Politico reported, and has demanded U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder release unedited transcripts of the eavesdropping.

Harman called the bugging an "abuse of power" by the Bush administration, and demanded the release of the transcripts. "It is my intention to make this material available to the public," Harman told Holder in a letter.

Politico said a call to the Justice Department on the matter was not immediately returned. The two AIPAC officials still face espionage-related charges.

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