Friday, June 26, 2009

Lawmaker Harman not under investigation: Justice

Lawmaker Harman not under investigation: JusticeWASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Representative Jane Harman, whose telephone calls were intercepted by a U.S. spy agency, is not under criminal investigation, the Justice Department said in a letter released Thursday.
Harman was caught up in a controversy after The New York Times reported in April that she was overheard on calls intercepted by the National Security Agency in 2005 in which she appeared to agree to seek lenient treatment for two pro-Israel lobbyists accused of spying.
The California lawmaker responded by asking the Justice Department to release the secretly taped telephone calls to show that she did not intervene in the espionage probe.
A June 16 Justice Department letter said Harman "is neither a subject nor a target of an ongoing investigation by the Criminal Division," according to a copy that she released.
"Earlier this year, I was the subject of media reports concerning transcripts of alleged government wiretaps. To date, there has been no official confirmation that such transcripts exist or are accurate, and I have written to Attorney General (Eric) Holder asking for full disclosure," Harman said.
Her statement noted that if transcripts do exist, anyone leaking them to the press would be committing a felony.
The U.S. government in May dropped charges against Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, former American Israel Public Affairs Committee officials who were accused of conspiring with a former Pentagon analyst to provide defense information to foreign government officials, policy analysts and the media.
The Bush administration launched a secret warrantless domestic spying program after the September 11 attacks that was sharply criticized by civil rights groups after it was revealed in 2005.
(Reporting by Tabassum Zakaria; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)
Original article

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