A source close to the Trial of the two former AIPAC executives, Federal Prosecutors asked a judge to drop charges against the two ex-AIPAC staffers accused of passing along classified information. Lawyers and First Amendment advocates have said the case would criminalize the normal type of information exchange that is common among journalists, lobbyists and think-tank analysts.
In a statement Friday, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia said restrictions on the government’s case imposed by Judge T.S. Ellis III made conviction unlikely.
“Given the diminished likelihood the government will prevail at trial under the additional intent requirements imposed by the court and the inevitable disclosure of classified information that would occur at any trial in this matter, we have asked the court to dismiss the indictment,” Peter Carr said.
The motion all but guarantees a dismissal when Ellis convenes a hearing, likely within days.
“Intent requirements” refers to an earlier Ellis ruling that the government must prove that Keith Weissman, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s former Iran analyst, and Steve Rosen, its former foreign policy chief, intended not only to assist Israel but to harm the United States.
Weissman and Rosen were charged under a rarely used section of the 1917 Espionage Act that makes it a crime for civilians to receive and distribute closely held defense information. Both men were later dismissed by AIPAC, with the organization claiming the two had violated its rules; Rosen, in turn has filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against AIPAC.
The dropping of the case comes just days before the start Sunday of AIPAC’s annual policy conference in Washington.
The news comes from JTA, but I was able to confirm with another source.
These two guys have spent the last few years in a living hell, instead of suporting them, AIPAC left them out to dry. The fact is these guys did nothing wrong, and now the Justice department says they do not have a case.
Over the past few months one of the former defendants, Steve Rosen has become an “on-line” buddy of mine, finding him to have a deep love for the United States and Israel, I can never imagine him doing anything to harm either country.
One one personal message to MJ Rosenberg. Nothing has changed since Last month. It has been proven that you played fast and loose with United States Secrets, and nothing could be proven agaisnt the AIPAC defendants, maybe you should aplogise, or maybe you should just shut up!!!
UPDATE: I just received an email from Steve Rosen Confirming that the case has been dropped.