Harman Hires Lanny Davis As Spin-Meister

April 29, 2009 7:27 a.m.

Jane Harman has hired Lanny Davis as a “media adviser” to help her deal with the fallout from the AIPAC story, reports Laura Rozen at Foreign Policy.

Hiring Davis suggests Harman — who embarked on a media blitz last week, without perfect success, in response to the affair — isn’t so worried about the perception that she’s too close to the Israel lobby. Davis — who was special counsel to President Clinton during the Lewinsky saga, and an indefatigable spinner for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign — has long been a supporter of AIPAC, and serves as an adviser and spokesman for the Israel Project, a hawkish, pro-Israel group. He also, for good measure, appears regularly on Fox News.We’ve put a call in to Davis to get his take on the story.

In addition to that scoop, Laura also advances the notion, floated by JTA‘s Ron Kampeas earlier this week, that it was then-CIA director Porter Goss who, upon seeing the transcript of Harman’s conversation with the Israeli agent, drove the effort to get a wiretap up on Harman herself.

Laura writes:

As the top Republican and Democrat on the House intelligence committee from 2002-2004, Goss and Harman were among the few lawmakers privy to controversial covert programs such as NSA warrantless domestic surveillance and waterboarding undertaken by the Bush administration in its war on terror. Although the two representatives were not openly hostile, their staffs are said by many sources to have fiercely disliked each other.

When Goss went on in late 2004 to head the CIA, he took many of his House staff with him, where they became known, not affectionately, as the “Gosslings” by some CIA operations veterans who found them highly partisan.

Laura also wonders why FBI director Bob Mueller was unavailable to sign off on the wiretap, apparently allowing Goss to authorize it until Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte reportedly quashed the idea.

Looks like the wrinkles are only increasing…

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