Something else that needs investigating in this Harman story. From the initial CQ Politics coverage:
Justice Department attorneys in the intelligence and public corruption units who read the transcripts decided that Harman had committed a "completed crime," a legal term meaning that there was evidence that she had attempted to complete it, three former officials said.
And they were prepared to open a case on her, which would include electronic surveillance approved by the so-called FISA Court, the secret panel established by the 1979 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to hear government wiretap requests.
But that's when, according to knowledgeable officials, Attorney General Gonzales intervened.
According to two officials privy to the events, Gonzales said he "needed Jane" to help support the administration's warrantless wiretapping program, which was about to be exposed by the New York Times.
Harman, he told Goss, had helped persuade the newspaper to hold the wiretap story before, on the eve of the 2004 elections. And although it was too late to stop the Times from publishing now, she could be counted on again to help defend the program
He was right.
On Dec. 21, 2005, in the midst of a firestorm of criticism about the wiretaps, Harman issued a statement defending the operation and slamming the Times, saying, "I believe it essential to U.S. national security, and that its disclosure has damaged critical intelligence capabilities."
Pelosi and Hastert never did get the briefing.
And thanks to grateful Bush administration officials, the investigation of Harman was effectively dead.
Putting aside the links to espionage. Putting aside the betrayal of Democratic political hopes by a Blue Dog who was personally compromised.
This is also a story about the hyper-politicization of the Bush "Justice Department" under Alberto Gonzales.
The attorneys in the intelligence and public integrity sections believed they had evidence of a "completed crime." But does Alberto Gonzales take the case where the evidence leads? No!
Instead, he calls off the dogs for a political ally -- if just a temporary ally of convenience -- for the political benefit of the Bush "administration."
Remember, nobody ever really answered for the U.S. Attorneys firing scandal. And even as it was unfolding, Bush "administration" officials denied they were using the DOJ for political ends. And Karl Rove, Josh Bolten and Harriet Miers continue to this day to defy Congressional subpoenas seeking their testimony in the investigations into that politicization.
Now comes even more evidence that they were in fact doing exactly what we all thought they were doing.
How many more Bush "administration" transgressions of the law and subversions of the Constitution will fester and grow steadily worse, with greater and farther-reaching repercussions, as we avert our eyes and hope to scoot away, always "looking forward?"
Where are our answers on the Bush "administration's" perversion of justice? Where is our subpoena power? Are we really going to see Democrats going down for this before the Republicans who actually did it?