Time magazine reported 2 1/2 years ago that the FBI was investigating Representative Jane Harman, a Democrat, for allegedly agreeing to lobby the Department of Justice to reduce espionage charges against two officials at the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). In exchange, Time reported, AIPAC would then lobby the House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to appoint Harman as chair of the House Intelligence Committee if the Democrats captured the House after the 2006 elections. The story went nowhere. Nowhere, that is, until last week, when Congressional Quarterly broke a story (later confirmed by The New York Times) revealing that Harman had been heard in a several years old NSA wiretapped conversation talking with a suspected Israeli agent. Harman said she would “waddle” into lobbying the DOJ on the AIPAC case. The suspected agent pledged to help lobby Nancy Pelosi to get Harman her the coveted committee appointment. Harman ended the call, according to the news reports, saying “This conversation doesn’t exist.”
Why were the transcripts leaked now? And why is the story suddenly so hot?