Photo: AP
Lawrence Franklin. At heart of previous probe
Photo: AP

Report: AIPAC focus of fresh FBI probe

Time Magazine says Justice Department suspects improper ties between AIPAC and democrat congresswoman

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is probing whether Congresswoman Jane Harman and the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC improperly cooperated to secure Harman is reelected as the top Democrat member on the House Intelligence Committee, the Time Magazine reports.


Sources told Time that the probe has been going on for months. The probe would try to determine whether Harman and AIPAC enlisted wealthy supporters to "lobby" House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi to reappoint Harman.


According to the sources, Israeli businessman Haim Saban is one of the wealthy individuals who lobbied for Pelosi on behalf of Harman. Saban contributed at least USD 3,000 to Harman's election campaign, congressional sources told Time.


Two senior AIPAC lobbyists are awaiting sentencing as part of an investigation that led to the suspension and imprisonment of former Defense Intelligence Agency official Lawrence A. Franklin, who pleaded guilty to having passed on classified intelligence to the two lobbyists.


AIPAC fired lobbyists Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, who are accused of receiving classified information on terrorism and the Middle East from Franklin.


Harman: No knowledge of probe 

The investigation will also attempt to determine whether AIPAC lobbied for Franklin to get a position at the National Security Council. According to the probe's findings, Franklin requested that AIPAC members "put in a good word" for him at the NSC in exchange for the documents he relayed to them. AIPAC, on its part, considered such an appointment to be beneficial for the organization, as it would put Franklin in a position close to the president, and said that they would do their best on the matter, the FBI claimed.


Harman's attorney told the Time that: "(Congresswoman Harman) is not aware of any such investigation, does not believe that it is occurring, and wanted to make sure that you and your editors knew that as far as she knows, that's not true... . No one from the Justice Department has contacted her."


A spokesman for AIPAC, has also 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.


פרסום ראשון: 10.21.06, 16:27
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