Saturday, October 21, 2006


Fox News and the Los Angeles Times report on the identity of the Democrat leak suspect--a staffer in the office of House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.). LA Times:

The aide was identified by other congressional officials as Larry Hanauer. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of a pending investigation into the leak, said Hanauer had held positions with the departments of Defense and Homeland Security before joining the professional staff of Democrats on the House intelligence panel about two years ago.

A spokesman for Harman said Hanauer was not available to comment. His attorney, Jonathan Turley, expressed anger that Hanauer was named in news reports Friday and said there was no evidence the aide leaked the intelligence report.

Turley wrote to committee leaders, "When a staffer can become fodder for politics in this way, it discourages qualified people from seeking to join public service."

Other Democratic aides said Hanauer was familiar with rules surrounding classified materials and said they were skeptical he would leak information.

The document he requested — on behalf of committee member John F. Tierney (D-Mass.), according to Turley — was a National Intelligence Estimate on global terrorism trends that suggested the Iraq war had exacerbated terrorism. Disclosure of the analysis last month was a political embarrassment to the Bush administration.

Clarice Feldman's gathering info on Hanauer.

Wondering what the New York Times has to say? Here:

Representative John F. Tierney, Democrat of Massachusetts, said in an interview that he requested a copy of the National Intelligence Estimate last month after The Times had called his office. When a committee security officer could not immediately locate it, Mr. Hanauer requested the document from the office of the director of national intelligence, John D. Negroponte, and a copy was delivered.

“I didn’t talk to The New York Times, and I don’t think he did either,” Mr. Tierney said of Mr. Hanauer. “I want the committee to clear his name as soon as possible.”

Mr. Hanauer’s lawyer, Jonathan Turley, said his client had nothing to do with any leak of the intelligence estimate and would offer a sworn statement to that effect. Mr. Turley said Mr. Hanauer was collateral damage in a pre-election squabble.

“He simply got the document and gave it to a member,” the lawyer said.

Mr. Hanauer, who joined the committee staff last year after working for the Defense Department and the Booz Allen Hamilton, the consulting firm, remains on the panel payroll and retains his security clearance.

The estimate on terrorism had a relatively low-level classification, “secret,” and was made available in May to hundreds of people in multiple agencies and Congressional committees. The Times has previously reported that its article about the estimate was based on interviews with more than 10 officials and outside experts.

As I wrote yesterday:

The Dem staffer's suspension doesn't preclude the possibility that the Times received the NIE summary findings from more than one source or the possibility that CIA insiders constituted some of those sources.


Looks like Harman may be in a lot of hot water. Via Dan Riehl and Bryan Preston, Time magazine exclusively reports that the Department of Justice is investigating whether she and AIPAC worked together to get her reappointed as the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. The reported probe is looking into whether Harman and AIPAC arranged for wealthy supporters to lobby House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi on Harman's behalf:

A spokesman for AIPAC, a powerful Washington-based organization with more than 100,000 members across the U.S., denied any wrongdoing by the group and stressed that it is not taking sides in regards to the committee assignment. Spokespersons for Justice and the FBI declined to comment. The case is a spin-off of a probe that has already led to charges under the Espionage Act against two AIPAC lobbyists, whose case is still pending, and to a 12-and-a-half-year prison sentence for former Defense Intelligence Agency official Lawrence A. Franklin. Franklin pleaded guilty a year ago to three felony counts involving improper disclosure and handling of classified information about the Middle East and terrorism to the two lobbyists, who in turn are accused of passing it on to a journalist and a foreign government, widely believed to be Israel. The two lobbyists, who have denied any wrongdoing but were dismissed by AIPAC in April of 2005, were indicted on felony counts of conspiring with government officials to receive classified information they were not authorized to have access to and providing national defense information to people not entitled to receive it.

Around mid-2005, the investigation expanded to cover aspects of Harman's quiet but aggressive campaign to persuade House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to reappoint her to the prestigious position on the House intel panel. The alleged campaign to support Harman for the leadership post came amid media reports that Pelosi had soured on her California colleague and might name Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida, himself a major supporter of Israel, to succeed Harman.

The sources say the probe also involves whether, in exchange for the help from AIPAC, Harman agreed to help try to persuade the Administration to go lighter on the AIPAC officials caught up in the ongoing investigation. If that happened, it might be construed as an illegal quid pro quo, depending on the context of the situation. But the sources caution that there has been no decision to charge anyone and that it is unclear whether Harman and AIPAC acted on the idea.

As longtime readers of this blog now, I have wondered repeatedly why so many in Washington on both sides of the aisle kept quiet about the AIPAC illegal leak case. (See The National Security Scandal No One's Talking About, for example. More background below.)

Time's report helps shed some light on Democrat reticence.

Stay tuned.


Tom Maguire says "right now, this is not scoring that high on my Wilson-Fitzgerald Meter."

The Squiggler has a massive round-up of info.

Previous on NIE leak:

Democrat leak freak-out
Bombshell: Democratic staff dripper?
9/25/06 About that National Intelligence Estimate
9/26/06 The NIE
9/27/07 Who is Paul Pillar?

Previous on AIPAC/Franklin case:

1/20/06 Larry Franklin sentenced
10/6/06 Larry Franklin: guilty
8/5/05 Two former AIPAC officials indicted
5/24/05 Larry Franklin update
5/19/05 AIPAC update
5/18/05 A partial defense of the MSM's Larry Franklin coverage
5/14/05 FBI questions journalists about Franklin
5/11/05 Report: Former AIPAC official expects to be indicted
5/5/05 The National Security Scandal No One's Talking About
5/5/05 The Larry Franklin scandal continued
5/4/05 Charged: Larry Franklin
4/21/05 AIPAC fires two

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