A source with intimate knowledge of the case against two ex-AIPAC staffers accused of passing along classified information says the case has been dropped.
Keith Weissman, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s former Iran analyst, and Steve Rosen, its former foreign policy chief, 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.
Federal prosecutors reportedly had been considering dropping the criminal case in the wake of a number of recent judicial decisions that make the prosecution more difficult. Among these was an appeals court rejection of a prosecution request to review the trial judge’s order that prosecutors make the case that the defendants harmed the United States and not merely benefited Israel. Some Democrats see the case as a piece with Bush-era efforts to expand government secrecy powers, but the Post quoted its sources as saying that the review would have occurred whether or not Barack Obama had won election as president.
More on this and its significance in a little while…