The New York Times adds some details to yesterday’s blockbuster CQ report about Rep. Jane Harman and AIPAC.
Here are the key nuggets from the Times story:
* The report confirms that the call on which Harman agreed to take action in the AIPAC case in return for helping her get the House intel chair job was indeed picked up by the NSA, as Stein reported, rather than the FBI or other agencies, as some reports yesterday had suggested.* The report also confirms that Harman was not the target of the wiretap. Rather, she was “swept up” as part of a separate investigation.
* Harman told her interlocutor that she would have more pull on the AIPAC case with a White House official than with the Justice Department.
* In return, the caller said that Haim Saban, a major Democratic fundraiser and donor, would threaten to withhold campaign contributions from Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi, if Pelosi didn’t give Harman the intel job. (In 2006, Time reported that Saban did indeed call Pelosi to lobby her about Harman getting the job.)
* New York Times executive editor Bill Keller says that in October or November of 2004, Harman called Philip Taubman, then the paper’s Washington bureau chief, at the request of Michael V. Hayden, then the N.S.A. director — to urge that the Times not publish the story it was preparing on warrantless wiretapping.
This raises a few more questions, which we’ll get into shortly…