Jane Harman

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This is a profile of a former U.S. Representative. (See the California portal for all incumbents, candidates and blogs.)
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Jane Lakes Harman, was a Democrat, member of the U. S. House of Representatives representing the 36th District of California from 2001 to 2011.


Record and controversies

Congressional scorecards

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Organization 2007 Scorecard
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2008 Scorecard
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American Civil Liberties Union not avail. not avail.
American Conservative Union not avail. not avail.
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Club for Growth not avail. not avail.
Drum Major Institute not avail. not avail.
Family Research Council not avail. not avail.
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National Association for the Advancement of Colored People not avail. not avail.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce not avail. not avail.

Iraq War

For more information see the chart of U.S. House of Representatives votes on the Iraq War.

Harman voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that started the Iraq War.[1]

Environmental record

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal

Support for gun control

Harman cosponsored H.R. 1312 (Assault Weapons Ban and Law Enforcement Protection Act of 2005) on July 28, 2005.[2]

Main article: U.S. gun legislation

Justice Department investigation

In October 2006, it was reported that Harman was under investigation by the Justice Department for allegedly (with the help of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee) enlisting wealthy donors to lobby House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to retain Harman as the head Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. The investigation into the alleged campaign to support Harman for the leadership post began in mid-2005 after media reports said that Pelosi might name Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) to succeed Harman. In addition to investigating alleged calls made at Harman’s behest by wealthy Democratic Party contributors to Pelosi, the probe is also looking into whether, in exchange for help from AIPAC, Harman agreed to try to persuade the Bush Administration to go easy on AIPAC officials involved in a broader investigation. [1]

Harman responded to the announcement in a voicemail message stating that any investigation of her would be "irresponsible, laughable and scurrilous." A spokesman for AIPAC, a powerful Washington-based organization with more than 100,000 members across the U.S., denied any wrongdoing by the group and stressed that it did not even take sides between Harman and Hastings in regards to the committee assignment. [2]

In October 2006, a Democratic congressional official noted that if Democrats regained the House after the 2006 elections, Pelosi would likely not appoint Harman as the chairman of the Intelligence Committee. Acknowledging that the two had a rocky relationship, he stated “To say it is unlikely she will get the job is accurate.” [3]

In November 2006, Speaker-elect Pelosi announced that she would not be choosing Harman for the top intelligence post. [4]

Release of Intelligence Committee report on ex-Rep. Duke Cunningham

In October of 2006, Harman released to the media the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence's report on the ethical violations undertaken by ex-Rep. Duke Cunningham while serving on the body. This was against the wishes of committee chairman Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) and House Republicans who did not wish it to be released in the run up to the 2006 election when it was likely to be politicized. The action set off a series of political squabbles within the committee. [5]

NSA wiretap and AIPAC controversy

On April 19, 2009, CQ Politics broke a story about a National Security Agency (NSA) domestic wiretap that revealed Harman's alleged involvement with the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Two former NSA senior officials were sources for the report on the transcript of the conversation between AIPAC and Harman. According to the article, the 2006 Justice Department investigation into Harman was halted because former Attorney General Alberto 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." [3]

The 2005 New York Times story, revealing NSA's warrantless wiretapping, was originally scheduled to be published before the 2004 elections. According to the Times spokesperson Catherine Mathis, Harman urged the Times to delay publication of the story until after the election. Mathis elaborated by saying, "Congresswoman Harman spoke to Washington Bureau Chief Phil Taubman in late October or early November, 2004, apparently at the request of General (Michael) Hayden."[4] Hayden, at the time, was Bush's National Security Agency chief.

The story not only surrounds Harman's involvement in the delay of the wiretapping story, but also Harman's alleged agreement to aid two AIPAC lobbyists, Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman, who were under investigation for espionage. AIPAC lobbyists, in return for this alleged help, would then lobby a wealthy California donor, Haim Saban, to withhold campaign contributions for Nancy Pelosi if she did not appoint Harman as chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence upon entering her role as Speaker of the House in 2007. [5] After the agreement, Harman allegedly said, "this conversation does not exist" to the AIPAC lobbyists before hanging up. [6] Harman, however, was not appointed chairman of the committee. The post went to Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX), instead.

In response to the controversy surrounding the NSA wiretap, Rep. Harman, in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, said:

"I want to see a full transcript of what I said, if someone wiretapped me, and I want to know, by the way, if the wiretaps were legal, and I want to make sure that members of Congress are not routinely wiretapped without their knowledge." [7]

When asked about her support for the warrantless wiretaps, Harman said the following:

" I support, if necessary, surveillance of people in order to prevent attacks against us, but they have -- surveillance has to be done consistent with our laws and the Constitution. I didn’t know -- I did not know that what the Bush administration was doing, until it disclosed the program in 2005, did not follow the law, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act."[8]

On April 22, 2009, CQ Politics reported that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was aware of the wiretap on Harman, but could not tell anyone about it, including Harman. [9] In response to the controversy, Harman has demanded that the Justice Department release the transcripts of the wiretap.[10]


Harmon was born June 28, 1945 in New York City. She was educated at Smith College and the Harvard University School of Law, and was a lawyer, a staff member for US Senator John V. Tunney, adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, chief counsel and staff director for the U.S. Senate Judiciary subcommittee on constitutional rights, deputy secretary to the U.S. Cabinet at the White House (1977-1978) and special counsel to the Department of Defense before entering the House. Harman ran for Governor of California in 1998 but was defeated in the Democratic primary by then-Lieutenant Governor Gray Davis.

She is a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of conservative Congressional Democrats, one of the few members who is not from the Deep South.

2006 elections

In 2006, the Republicans nominated Brian Gibson, and the Libertarian Party nominated Mike Brinkley to face Harman in her November 2006 bid for reelection. (See U.S. congressional elections in 2006) [6] Harman easily won reelection.

2008 elections

This information was gathered by volunteer researchers as part of the Superdelegate Transparency Project on the superdelegates for the 2008 Democratic presidential primary. For more info see the California superdelegate tracker or visit the STP homepage.

Before Hillary Clinton conceded the race, Jane Harman, as a superdelegate, had endorsed her for President.

Money in Politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. For specific controversies, see this article's record and controversies section.

Campaign contribution data could not be found.

Links to more campaign contribution information for Jane Harman
from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org site.
Fundraising profile: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2008 election cycle Career totals

Committees and Affiliations


Committees in the 110th Congress (2007-2008)

Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

More Background Data

Wikipedia also has an article on Jane Harman. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.


DC office
  • 731 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510
    Ph: 202-224-3254 Fax: 202-224-9369
    Webform email
District offices
  • 2321 East Rosecrans Avenue, Suite 3270, El Segundo, CA 90245
    Ph: 310-643-3636 Fax: (none entered)
  • 544 North Avalon Boulevard, Suite 307, Wilmington, CA 90744
    Ph: 310-549-8282 Fax: (none entered)
On the Web
Campaign office
  • No campaign website entered.
  • No campaign webform email entered.
  • No campaign office information entered.

Articles and resources


  1. Roll call vote, Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.
  2. Thomas page on H.R. 1312
  3. Jeff Stein, "Sources: Wiretap Recorded Rep. Harman Promising to Intervene for AIPAC", CQ Politics, April 19, 2009.
  4. Greg Sargent "Dem Rep Harman Did Urge Times Not to Publish Wiretapping Expose", The Plum Line, April 21, 2009.
  5. Neil A. Lewis & Mark Mazzetti, "Lawmaker Is Said to Have Agreed to Aid Lobbyists", New York Times, April 20, 2009.
  6. Jeff Stein, "Sources: Wiretap Recorded Rep. Harman Promising to Intervene for AIPAC", CQ Politics, April 19, 2009.
  7. "CQ Transcript" Rep. Jane Harman Interviewed on CNN's 'Situation Room'", CQ Transcriptswire, April 21, 2009.
  8. "CQ Transcript" Rep. Jane Harman Interviewed on CNN's 'Situation Room'", CQ Transcriptswire, April 21, 2009.
  9. "Pelosi Said She Knew Harman Was Wiretapped", CQ Politics, April 22, 2009.
  10. "Pelosi Said She Knew Harman Was Wiretapped", CQ Politics, April 22, 2009.



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