On antiwar.com, there is a fine interview by Scott Horton of Jeff Stein of CQ, regarding his blockbuster story, in which Stein describes Harman's phone-mate of 2005 as a "suspected Israeli double agent" and suggests that the agent was not Haim Saban.
On hearing the tape, Justice Department lawyers' felt that they had caught Harman in a "completed crime" that demanded investigation. Stein defined completed crime as a "prima facie case that a crime was committed, in this case, that she did something in exchange for something, in other words, a sort of pay-for-play or influence peddling kind of thing… It looks like, by just merely promising to do that, merely promising to do that, she had committed a crime…. to do a favor in exchange for something of value, which is to say, to get appointed to be the chair of the House intelligence committee."
Of course: "Ms. Harman may have all kinds of innocent explanations for this conversation."
Stein also said that Harman was swept up in a continuation of the investigation of former AIPAC staffers, Steve Rosen and Ken Weissman, who had been indicted some months before–"an outgrowth of that or a continuation of that." I.e., the wiretapping was not part of the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping program, though the NSA was called in to perform electronic surveillance of "this target."
The investigation the Justice Department lawyers wanted of Jane Harman never started, Stein said, because Alberto Gonzales wanted Harman, "a prominent Democrat on the Hill who was above reproach" to support the Administration politically on that controversial, aforementioned, secret warrantless wiretapping program. As she did. "He didn't want any dirt on Jane Harman to be made public."
More: "This sounds like a bad, bad movie… The whole thing sounds like a Washington thriller, sort of like State of Play… I'm hoping someone buys the movie rights."
Horton brings up Haim Saban.
But Stein says, We have not identified who the target was– "who was the suspected Israeli double agent."
Horton asks about Saban a second time.
Stein: "I do not have that. I was told by one of my sources that he was not the target."
Did she know he was an agent of the Israeli government, rather than just an influential lobbyist?
"That is a really interesting question, which hasn't been answered yet."
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