Harman was recorded saying 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 Israeli 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.
Seemingly wary of what she
had just agreed to, according to an official who read the NSA
transcript, Harman hung up after saying, “This conversation doesn’t
The identity of the “suspected Israeli
agent” could not be determined with certainty, and officials were
extremely skittish about going beyond Harman’s involvement to discuss
other aspects of the NSA eavesdropping operation against Israeli
targets, which remain highly classified.
to the former officials familiar with the transcripts, the alleged
Israeli agent asked Harman if she could use any influence she had with
Gonzales, who became attorney general in 2005, to get the charges
against the AIPAC officials reduced to lesser felonies.
official Steve Rosen had been charged with two counts of conspiring to
communicate, and communicating national defense information to people
not entitled to receive it. Weissman was charged with conspiracy.
AIPAC dismissed the two in May 2005, about five months before the events here unfolded.
responded that Gonzales would be a difficult task, because he “just
follows White House orders,” but that she might be able to influence
lesser officials, according to an official who read the transcript.