The AIPAC Case: The Defense Strikes Back

04.18.06 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

Attorneys for two former officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee accused of mishandling classified information vigorously rebutted the latest prosecution arguments against their clients in an April 6 pleading (pdf).

“In the history of the Espionage Act, the government has never embarked on a prosecution like this one — of private citizens outside government, not accused of espionage, for receiving and transmitting oral information in the context of their jobs as foreign policy advocates protected by the First Amendment,” the defense argued.

The defense brief disputed the prosecution’s new claim that a 1940 case known as Gorin was a pertinent precedent to the current case. In that earlier case, the defendant was a foreign agent who paid his sources for access to restricted information. But unlike Gorin, the present defendants are not accused of being foreign agents, nor of bribing or coercing the disclosure of information.

See “Defendants’ Reply to Government’s Supplemental Response to Motion to Dismiss,” April 6, 2006 (1 MB PDF).

An earlier defense brief on related matters, dated March 31 and initially filed under seal, is now available here (2.2 MB PDF).

Recent news coverage of the case includes “Leak Flap Seen Aiding Lobbyists’ Case” by Marc Perelman, Forward, April 14.