Congresswoman Harman responds to allegations of influence trading

South Bay Congresswoman Jane Harman is fighting back after allegations surfaced that she was caught on a wiretap agreeing to trade influence for a choice committee chairmanship. KPCC’s Washington Correspondent Kitty Felde reports.

South Bay Congresswoman Jane Harman is fighting back after allegations surfaced that she was caught on a wiretap agreeing to trade influence for a choice committee chairmanship. KPCC’s Washington Correspondent Kitty Felde reports.

Kitty Felde: Three years ago, federal agents reportedly recorded a call from someone who wanted Harman to intervene in a federal espionage case against two former members of a pro-Israeli lobby group. The New York Times says in exchange, the caller promised the South Bay Democrat that a wealthy donor would threaten to withhold campaign money from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi if she didn’t name Harman chair of the House Intelligence Committee. The Congressional Quarterly says Harman agreed to “waddle into” the case.

In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Harman says she’s “outraged” about the wiretaps. She urged the Justice Department to release unedited transcripts – and says she did not intervene in national security cases on which she was briefed. A political watchdog group wants Harman investigated. The Justice Department hasn’t responded. The House Office of Congressional Ethics won’t meet until the end of the month.

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