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JTA: Case against ex-Aipac lobbyists dropped

The case against two former lobbyists with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee that had been slated to go to trial June 2 after numerous delays has been dropped, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports. "Prosecutors asked a judge to drop charges against two ex-AIPAC staffers accused of passing along classified information," JTA writes. "In a statement ...

The case against two former lobbyists with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee that had been slated to go to trial June 2 after numerous delays has been dropped, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports.

"Prosecutors asked a judge to drop charges against two ex-AIPAC staffers accused of passing along classified information," JTA writes. "In a statement Friday, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia, said restrictions on the government's case imposed by Judge T.S. Ellis III made conviction unlikely."

"Given the diminished likelihood the government will prevail at trial under the additional intent requirements imposed by the court and the inevitable disclosure of classified information that would occur at any trial in this matter, we have asked the court to dismiss the indictment," a spokesman for the acting U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia was cited.

The case against two former lobbyists with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee that had been slated to go to trial June 2 after numerous delays has been dropped, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports.

"Prosecutors asked a judge to drop charges against two ex-AIPAC staffers accused of passing along classified information," JTA writes. "In a statement Friday, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia, said restrictions on the government’s case imposed by Judge T.S. Ellis III made conviction unlikely."

"Given the diminished likelihood the government will prevail at trial under the additional intent requirements imposed by the court and the inevitable disclosure of classified information that would occur at any trial in this matter, we have asked the court to dismiss the indictment," a spokesman for the acting U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia was cited.

The government’s case had suffered several pre-trial setbacks, including rulings by the judge that the government’s former chief official in charge of classified information could testify for the defense and that the defense could call several former senior officials, including former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and former National Security Advisor Steven Hadley.

"Prosecutors have filed a motion to dismiss the indictment, which must be approved by a federal judge," the Washington Post reported.

UPDATE: Defense legal team statement: "…This case should result in a new look by Congress and the Executive Branch to amend the laws to insure that only real espionage is prosecuted as a crime and only information that really does affect the national security is classified. Otherwise, the trauma that our clients have faced, could be unfairly repeated for some other innocent person in the future."

And analysis by JTA’s Ron Kampeas about the motion to dismiss the case basically saying we’re likely to lose, not our prosecutorial premise was flawed.

Laura Rozen writes The Cable daily at ForeignPolicy.com.

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