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Did McDermott Pass Along The Gingrich Recording?

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WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Jan. 13) -- It's the best Washington whodunit since Primary Colors' "Anonymous." Who is the Democratic congressman who passed along a recording of an intercepted cell phone call by House Speaker Newt Gingrich?

This week's TIME magazine names Washington Rep. Jim McDermott, the ethics committee's ranking Democrat, as a leading suspect. The New York Times printed excerpts from the overheard conference call on Friday. During the call, Gingrich discusses the best way to spin his admission of ethics lapses, in a possible violation of his no-spin agreement with the ethics panel.

The Times would say only that a Democratic congressman who received the tape from a Florida couple had passed the recording along.

TIME's article cites sources within the Republican leadership who say McDermott was overheard talking to a Sunshine State couple who insisted on giving him a package in person. They also say McDermott discussed the tapes with the ethics committee's special counsel before the call's existence was publicly known.

Republicans are furious about the eavesdropping, and charge that such an interception is illegal. McDermott declined to comment to TIME on the matter.


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