Feds May Drop Case Against Lobbyists in Harman Flap

Move unrelated to scandal, they say
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2009 7:33 PM CDT
In this Feb. 24, 2009, file photo, Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., talks with Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen.   (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds, FILE)
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(Newser) – Federal prosecutors may drop charges against two pro-Israeli lobbyists at the center of a wiretapping scandal involving a member of Congress, the Washington Post reports. The feds say the possible move has nothing to do with the scandal involving Rep. Jane Harman. Instead, a series of recent court decisions in similar cases—the men are accused of trying to obtain classified information—has made it more difficult for prosecutors to prevail.

"It's not because 'oh, this is getting ink, it's getting too hot, we need to drop it,' '' said one law enforcement source. "We would never do it for that reason.'' The development comes after reports that Harman was heard on wiretaps offering to intervene with the White House on the men's behalf in return for help landing a plum committee post. Harman denies any wrongdoing and wants the full transcripts of the calls released.