WASHINGTON (JTA) — Federal prosecutors reportedly are considering dropping classified information leak charges against two former AIPAC staffers.
The Washington Post’s online edition reported late Tuesday that U.S. Justice Department officials are reviewing the case in the wake of a number of recent judicial decisions that make the prosecution more difficult.
Among these was an appeals court rejection of a prosecution request to review the trial judge’s order that prosecutors make the case that the defendants harmed the United States and not merely benefited Israel.
Keith Weissman, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s former Iran analyst, and Steve Rosen, its former foreign policy chief, were charged under a rarely used section of the 1917 Espionage Act that makes it a crime for civilians to receive and distribute closely held defense information.
Some Democrats see the case as a piece with Bush-era efforts to expand government secrecy powers, but the Post quoted its sources as saying that the review would have occurred whether or not Barack Obama had won election as president.
Sources close to the defense told JTA that they have not learned of such a review.