Harman: Well, let's find out. I mean, the person I was talking to was an American citizen. I know something about the law and wiretaps. There are two ways you do it. One is you get a FISA warrant, which has to start with a foreign suspected terrorist, a non-American foreigner. If this was FISA, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, that would have had to happen.It almost looks like she's suggesting that she was illegally wiretapped. This would definately have an effect on the AIPAC prosecution if true. But it may be a moot point: the Justice Department is apparently seriously considering shelving the AIPAC spy case altogether and dismissing the charges.
Siegel: But if you know that it was an American citizen —
If it was Article III, FBI wiretap, that's different. But I don't know what this was. And I don't know why this was done. And I don't know who the sources are who are claiming that this happened are and I think —
But you are saying that you know it was an American citizen. So that would suggest that you know that there was a —
Well, I know that anyone I would have talked to about, you know, the AIPAC prosecution would have been an American citizen. I didn't talk to some foreigner about it.
The review of the case against Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman was triggered by a series of recent court rulings that make it harder for the government to win convictions, the sources said. Those included an appeals court decision allowing the defense to use classified information at trial and a judge's ruling that said prosecutors must show the two men knew the information they allegedly disclosed would harm the United States and help a foreign country. That set a high bar for prosecutors because criminal intent can be difficult to prove.This case has been delayed time and time again, only now to be kicked over to the Obama Justice Department, who seems to be on the verge of tossing in the towel. Is this the price America has to pay for Netayahu's cooperation? If the DoJ was going to drop the case anyway, why bust Harman with this years-old bombshell now? None of this makes any sense. We still don't know who was wiretapping Harman and why. The Bushies brought the AIPAC case anyway, stalled it, and now Obama's "rule of law" DoJ is killing it?
The former lobbyists for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee are charged with conspiring to obtain classified information and pass it to journalists and the Israeli government.
It is unclear when a decision will be made about whether to proceed with the case, but sources said they expect one soon because the trial is set for June 2 in U.S. District Court in Alexandria. The sources described the review as a legal analysis examining the recent court rulings and whether prosecutors can meet their burden of proof. They said the review was not begun by political appointees from the Obama administration and would have been undertaken even if Republicans had retained the presidency.
The sources also said the review is unrelated to the revelations that Harman, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee for much of the Bush administration, was overheard on telephone calls intercepted by the federal government.
"It's not because 'oh, this is getting ink, it's getting too hot, we need to drop it,' '' said one law enforcement source, who was not authorized to speak about the case. "We would never do it for that reason.''
Any decision to seek to drop the charges would require approval from a federal judge.
There's still way too much unknown here.