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Harman begins to backtrack denials of wiretap story
John Byrne
Published: Wednesday April 22, 2009


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The California Democrat who was allegedly caught on an FBI wiretap promising to aid accused Israeli spies in 2005 has begun walking back her original denials.

Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) originally denied -- emphatically -- that she had in any way agreed in a plot to get herself appointed chairwoman of the House Intelligence Committee by getting an Israeli agent to work a major California donor to threaten to withhold campaign contributions from then-Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). The call between Harman and the Israeli national was caught on an FBI wiretap as part of a broader Israeli espionage case.

But in an interview on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered," Harman began qualifying her answers under heavy questioning.

"We don't know if there was a phone call," Harman said, backtracking on her previous statements.

Pressed on the specifics of the call, Harman said she couldn't "recall with any specificity a conversation I may have had four years ago."

Harman also appeared on numerous news networks, including CNN and MSNBC, to press her case of denial -- before beginning to backtrack on her answers.


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