House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) denied Tuesday that a Democratic donor, Haim Saban, threatened to withhold campaign contributions if Pelosi wouldn't appoint Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) to chair the intelligence committee.
The New York Times reported Tuesday, following a scoop from CQ, that Harman was wiretapped by federal authorities discussing an arrangement with someone who offered to have Saban make such a threat if Harman would pull strings at the Justice Department to get charges reduced against Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman, two employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), later charged with spying.
"What is true is that everybody knows I don't respond to threats, so it wouldn't be useful to use them. But it isn't true. It isn't true, no," she said in response to a question about the threat.
Harman has denied she spoke with anyone at Justice to seek leniency for the pair or that she engaged in any sort of deal. She expressed outrage at the leak of the alleged conversation, calling for all evidence and transcripts relating to her to be released.
"Congresswoman Harman has may fans who advocate for her and to juxtapose that on any other activities...is just not correct," said Pelosi.
She did not appoint Harman to chair the committee.