The Justice Department is moving to dismiss the case against Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman for espionage. The two men are former lobbyists for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC. Recently, Rep. Jane Harman was swept into a scandal when it was revealed that she was intercepted by the NSA alleging bargaining to help get the case dismissed in exchange for AIPAC’s help in securing the Chair position on the House Intelligence Committee.
The case was problematic in the extreme interpretation adopted by the Bush Administration that threatened to sweep journalists, academics, and others into the criminal system for merely receiving classified information, here and here.
The men were charged in 2005 with conspiring to obtain classified information — the first non-government civilians to be charged under the 1917 espionage statute with verbally receiving and transmitting national defense information.
The dismissal of the lawsuit will come as a great relief to major D.C. players who were expected to be called as witnesses, including former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, former national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley, and former high-level Defense Department officials Paul D. Wolfowitz and Douglas J. Feith.
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