AMCHA files to join AIPAC case


A Jewish
organization has for the first time formally joined in a motion friendly to the
defense of two former AIPAC staffers facing classified information leak

AMCHA, headed by
activist Rabbi Avi Weiss, filed a motion Wednesday to join a friend of the
court brief by a number of large media groups seeking to keep the prosecution
from concealing from the public evidence presented to the jury. Much of the
evidence in the case against Steve Rosen, the American Israel Public Affairs
Committee’s former foreign policy chief, and Keith Weissman, its former Iran
analyst, has been gathered through eavesdropping; the two-year delay in the
trial, set now to begin June 4, is due in large part to sorting through which
evidence may be declassified as evidence.

Judge T.S. Ellis III’s
tendency to favor the defense in some instances has led the prosecution to ask
for evidence to be obscured from the public, if not the jury. A number of major
media outlets, including ABC, the Associated Press and the Washington Post, and
First Amendment defense groups have joined the defense in challenging the
prosecution’s request.

American Jewish community has a special and compelling interest in ensuring
that all of the evidence presented in the trial against Messrs. Rosen and
Weissman be available to the public for review and scrutiny,” says the
AMCHA filing.

Other Jewish groups have taken pains to distance themselves from the case; AIPAC has fired Rosen and Weissman, and the Anti-Defamation League and B’nai B’rith International have reportedly refused to cooperate with the defense.Ellis will hear arguments Monday.

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