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AIPAC judge calls hearing on secret evidence

The judge in the classified information case against two former AIPAC staffers ordered hearings on whether to keep evidence secret at trial. Judge T.S. Ellis of the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., confirmed in open court for the first time Thursday that prosecutors sought a “silent witness” procedure in which only jurors and trial participants would be able to listen to classified evidence, the New York Sun reported. Lawyers for Steve Rosen, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s former foreign policy chief, and Keith Weissman, its former Iran analyst, accused the prosecution of trying to close the trial, but Ellis said he would run an open trial. He said the government’s request was “novel,” and scheduled hearings on the matter in April. The trial is set to begin June 4, almost three years after the FBI investigation came to light. A number of media outlets sought a motion to stop the government from concealing trial evidence from the public. Ellis rejected the motion, but said they could refile later.