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Harman Demands that Justice Release Wiretaps

Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., today called on Attorney General Eric Holder to "release all transcripts and other investigative material" about herself following a disclosure that she was overheard in an NSA wiretap offering to lobby the Justice Department to reduce espionage-related charges against two officials of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee.

"This abuse of power is outrageous and I call on your Department to release all transcripts and other investigative material involving me in an unredacted form," she wrote. "It is my intention to make this material available to the public."

She also said Holder should take "appropriate steps to investigate possible wiretapping of other Members of Congress and selective leaks of investigative material which can be used for political purposes."

Harman said, "I am outraged to learn from reports leaked to the media over the last several days that the FBI or NSA secretly wiretapped my conversations in 2005 or 2006 while I was Ranking Member on the House Intelligence Committee."

CQ Politics columnist Jeff Stein reported Sunday that Harman was recorded telling a suspected Israeli agent she would "waddle into" the AIPAC case "if you think it'll make a difference," according to two former senior national security officials familiar with the NSA transcript.

In exchange for Harman's help, the sources said, the suspected agent pledged to help lobby Nancy Pelosi , D-Calif., then-House minority leader, to appoint Harman chair of the Intelligence Committee after the 2006 elections, which the Democrats were heavily favored to win.

Harman hung up after the call, saying "This conversation doesn't exist."

While Harman's letter to Holder did not address whether she had the call described in the transcript, she said "I never contacted the Department of Justice, the White House or anyone else to seek favorable treatment regarding the national security cases on which I was briefed, or any other cases. You may be aware that David Szady, the FBI's former top counterintelligence official, is quoted in the media saying of me "...in all my dealings with her, she was always professional and never tried to intervene or get in the way of any investigation."

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