Court Authorizes Subpoenas of Senior Officials in AIPAC Case

11.02.07 | 2 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

A federal court authorized issuance of subpoenas to more than a dozen current and former government officials to testify in the case of two former officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee who are accused of unauthorized receipt, transmission and disclosure of classified information.

According to the defense, the testimony of the subpoenaed officials will show that the defendants did “nothing more than the well-established official Washington practice of engaging in ‘back channel’ communication with various non-governmental entities and persons for the purpose of advancing U.S. foreign policy goals.”

The government disputes that claim and says such testimony is irrelevant to whether the defendants engaged in a conspiracy to obtain and disclose classified information.

The court, however, ruled (pdf) that circumstantial evidence of the official use of “back channel” communications could be probative of the defendants’ state of mind and could show a lack of criminal intent.

Judge T.S. Ellis III therefore authorized issuance of subpoenas to the following officials:

A copy of the November 2, 2007 Memorandum Opinion in the case of United States of America v. Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman is available here.