Sunday, April 23, 2006

A New Development in the AIPAC Case

Condoleezza Rice to be subpoenaed.

In the quest to prove that the Government is overreaching and attempting to criminalize an area of behavior long considered normative among Washington Lobbyists, the Defense team of the two former AIPAC officials accused of conspiring to receive and disclose classified defense information received permission to subpoena Condoleezza Rice, among other top administration officials.
The lawyers for the former lobbyists from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman, intend to prove that Rice herself spoke with Rosen about matters the prosecution argues were classified and forbidden for him to discuss.

U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III accepted the defense's claim that Rice's testimony might be relevant to the case, but added that the secretary can resist the subpoena and explain to the court in writing why she does not wish to testify. A U.S. State Department official told Haaretz a few days ago that Rice would oppose an attempt to subpoena her in the case and would try to persuade the court that conversations she held in which Rosen was also present bear no relavance to the case against him.

Rice's spokesman yesterday denied she had leaked national defense information to Rosen.

"The claims by these defense lawyers are utterly false," Rice's spokesman, Sean McCormack, told The Associated Press. "The secretary is the most careful person in the handling of classified information, and she absolutely did not convey classified information to either of these individuals," McCormack said.
Given the difficulty that prosectuion had in coming up with a law that could be used as a precedent in this case, it seems clear to me that the Government attorney's appear to be overreaching.

The Judge seems to concur with this opinion as well, given the fact that last Friday, he said he is still considering dismissing the entire case, as he was petitioned to do by the Defense.
During Friday's hearing, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III said he is considering dismissing the government's entire case because the law used to prosecute Rosen and Weissman may be unconstitutionally vague and broad and infringe on freedom of speech.


Previous entries on the AIPAC case:

Washingtonian Interconnectivity

Are the AIPAC Charges Unconstitutional?

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