Govt Seeks Dismissal of AIPAC Case

05.01.09 | 2 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

Prosecutors today filed a motion for dismissal (pdf) of the controversial case against two former employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman, who were charged under the Espionage Act with unlawful receipt and transmission of classified information.

“The landscape of this case has changed significantly since it was first brought,” the government motion stated, referring to several court rulings against the prosecution, which drastically increased its burden of proof, while granting defense motions to introduce previously classified information and to call influential expert witnesses for the defense.

“In addition to adjusting to the requirement of meeting an unexpectedly higher evidentiary threshold in order to prevail at trial, the Government must also assess the nature, quality, and quantity of evidence – including information relevant to prosecution and defense theories expected at trial.”

“In the proper discharge of our duties and obligations, we have re-evaluated the case based on the present context and circumstances, and determined that it is in the public interest to dismiss the pending superseding indictment,” prosecutors wrote in their May 1 motion.

If the case had gone forward and prosecutors had prevailed, it would have set a terrible precedent for using the Espionage Act to regulate and to punish access to classified information by non-official persons.  Instead, the dismissal of the case after years of fruitless litigation makes it extremely unlikely that prosecutors will attempt a repeat performance.

Ron Kampeas at the Jewish Telegraphic Agency had the first word on the motion for dismissal this morning.  Eli Lake at the Washington Times had an on-the-record confirmation.

See all publications
Nuclear Weapons
New Voices on Nuclear Weapons Fellowship: Creative Perspectives on Rethinking Nuclear Deterrence 

To empower new voices to start their career in nuclear weapons studies, the Federation of American Scientists launched the New Voices on Nuclear Weapons Fellowship. Here’s what our inaugural cohort accomplished.

11.28.23 | 3 min read
read more
Science Policy
Expected Utility Forecasting for Science Funding

Common frameworks for evaluating proposals leave this utility function implicit, often evaluating aspects of risk, uncertainty, and potential value independently and qualitatively.

11.20.23 | 11 min read
read more
Nuclear Weapons
Nuclear Notebook: Nuclear Weapons Sharing, 2023

The FAS Nuclear Notebook is one of the most widely sourced reference materials worldwide for reliable information about the status of nuclear weapons and has been published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1987. The Nuclear Notebook is researched and written by the staff of the Federation of American Scientists’ Nuclear Information Project: Director Hans […]

11.17.23 | 1 min read
read more
Social Innovation
Community School Approach Reaches High of 60%, Reports Latest Pulse Panel

According to the National Center for Education Statistics’ August 2023 pulse panel, 60% of public schools were utilizing a “community school” or “wraparound services model” at the start of this school year—up from 45% last year.

11.17.23 | 4 min read
read more