May 4, 20099
Lawyers for the two former AIPAC staffers charged four years ago with dealing in government secrets credited the Obama administration for dropping the case.
[efoods]“We are extremely grateful that this new Administration, in coordination with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Virginia, has taken seriously their obligation to evaluate cases on the merits and not to allow an unjust prosecution to continue solely due to momentum,” said the joint statement by lawyers for Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman issued Friday, hours after the government filed for a dismissal of the charges against the two former senior staffers for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. “This Administration truly shows that theirs is a Department of Justice, where the justice of any case can be re-evaluated and the government can admit that a case should not be pursued.”
Sources close to the defense said the investigation, which first came to light in 2004 when FBI agents raided AIPAC offices, appeared to be of a piece with the Bush administration policy of expanding its secrecy powers that President Obama has said he will reverse. Rosen and Weissman were the first civilians to be prosecuted under 1917 statute that criminalizes the receipt and retention of classified information.