She's questioned about an embattled colleague, whether to investigate Bush-era abuses.
Haraz N. Ghanbari/AP
“The tradition is that when a member of Congress is overheard in a wiretap that the leadership is informed and that happened at that time,” she said at a morning round-table sponsored by The Christian Science Monitor. “It was not my position to raise it with Jane Harman. In fact, I didn’t even know what they were talking about.”
The topic of that 2005 phone conversation was a quid pro quo, according to leaked press accounts this week first reported by The New York Times and Congressional Quarterly. Harman reportedly agreed to help reduce criminal charges against two former officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, accused of espionage, if they would pressure Pelosi to keep her on as the top Democrat on the House Intelligence panel after 2006 elections.
“I have great confidence in Jane Harman. She’s a patriotic American, and she would never do anything to hurt her country,” Pelosi said. “Many, many, many of Jane’s friends talked to me about her being chair of the intelligence committee -- none of them in any threatening way.”
Pelosi had wanted to talk about achievements of the 111th Congress -- milestone investments in health, education, and energy -- and the path ahead. Instead, she fielded hot button questions on issues ranging from allegations against an embattled colleague to investigations of Bush-era abuses and prospects for another bailout.