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News Brief

October 27, 2006
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A top congressional Democrat called on the Justice Department to publicize what it knows about an investigation into relations between AIPAC and a Jewish congresswoman. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the U.S. House of Representatives Government Reform Committee, said in the letter sent Thursday that allegations of improper relations between Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee seem “absurd.” Reports have alleged that AIPAC lobbied Democrats to keep Harman in her Intelligence Committee leadership position in exchange for Harman’s favorable treatment of classified information charges against two former AIPAC staffers. “The Intelligence Committee has no jurisdiction over a Justice Department prosecution of AIPAC employees, and it is unlikely that she, as a Democrat, could tell this Republican administration what to do on this matter,” Waxman wrote. He suggested the department was retaliating for Harman’s tough criticism of its zeal in prosecuting leaks. “It would be wrong to attack members of Congress — either through an unfounded investigation or through politically motivated leaks about such an investigation — in order to punish them for raising legitimate questions about the administration’s actions and priorities,” he said. Waxman and Harman are both Jewish.

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