When asked about Rep. Jane Harman’s alleged wire tapping on Tuesday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said this:
As you know, this is a breaking story, so I don’t know the particulars but I do think that I don’t know that Congressman Harman was wiretapped, I mean somebody was wiretapped and there may have been a conversation. I really do not know enough about it to be an authority on the subject.
Clearly someone jogged her memory overnight as this morning at an event sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, Pelosi said this:
A few years ago, maybe it was three years ago, they did brief me. The tradition is, I think it’s a tradition, not a law, the tradition is that when a member of Congress is included in a wiretap, when they’re wiretapping somebody else, but when you have a member of Congress that is overheard in a wiretap, that the leadership is informed and that happened at that time.
Pelosi added that she did not inform Harman as she was bound by secrecy rules but that the information did nothing to impinge her faith in her California colleague. “I have great confidence in Jane Harman,” Pelosi told 35 reporters in her Capitol Hill offices. “She is a patriotic American, she would never do anything to hurt her country.”
The Speaker also slapped down any suggestion that she denied Harman the chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee because of the wiretapping incident. “The only reason Jane is not the chairman is because she already served the two terms,” Pelosi said. “It had nothing to do with her position on Iraq. It had nothing to do with donors, nothing to do with eaves-dropping, wiretapping.”
Here’s the latest from me on the Harman bruhaha.