WASHINGTON, Sept. 21 (JTA) Officials at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee remain baffled as to why federal investigators have been looking into their work for two years, and why they have not been contacted since the day the case made headlines. While media reports suggest that a federal grand jury could be empaneled in the case soon, AIPAC defenders say they have heard nothing from prosecutors about a grand jury. Sources close to the investigation say no AIPAC officials have yet been asked to testify. The case, which garnered major headlines in the media last month, is believed to focus on a Pentagon official suspected of passing a classified draft policy statement on Iran to AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby, which allegedly then passed it on to Israel. AIPAC denies any wrongdoing and has called the alleged charges “baseless.” Jewish communal officials and members of Congress have protested the investigation and have called for an probe into who leaked the investigation and why. Sources said that after interviews with two AIPAC officials, Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, at the group’s offices were halted on Aug. 27 so that the men could get counsel, no investigators have spoken to either the men, their counsel or other AIPAC officials. The sources said lawyers have told the investigators that the AIPAC staffers are willing to cooperate. A search warrant was also executed that day, and the hard drive of Rosen’s computer was copied, but the basis for the search warrant remains under seal. An AIPAC spokesman said the men have returned to the office since that day, but both are currently on vacation. Rosen has served since the 1980s as the organization’s research director, and Weissman is the deputy director for foreign policy issues, specializing in Iran and other Middle East nations. Larry Franklin, a Pentagon aide suspected of divulging classified information to the AIPAC staffers, is expected to be the initial focus if a grand jury happens. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, which is handling the case, would not comment on the case. The actions of a grand jury are traditionally secret.
Status of AIPAC probe unclear