Under the Microscope

Posted: October 21, 2006 in 2006 Elections, October Surprise

According to Time magazine, Jane Harman is the most recent lawmaker to have an FBI problem.

Did a Democratic member of Congress improperly enlist the support of a major pro-Israel lobbying group to try to win a top committee assignment? That’s the question at the heart of an ongoing investigation by the FBI and Justice Department prosecutors, who are examining whether Rep. Jane Harman of California and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) may have violated the law in a scheme to get Harman reappointed as the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, according to knowledgeable sources in and out of the U.S. government.

The sources tell TIME that the investigation by Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which has simmered out of sight since about the middle of last year, is examining whether Harman and AIPAC arranged for wealthy supporters to lobby House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi on Harman’s behalf.

Regardless of the validity of the allegations, this should provide the GOP ammunition to offset attacks by Democrats on ethics and investigation issues during the final stretch of the election season.

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