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AIPAC Trial May Subpoena Rice, Hadley, Abrams, Wolfowitz, Feith

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    AIPAC Espionage Trial May Subpoena Rice, Hadley, Abrams, Wolfowitz, Feith November 6, 2007 From CNI Staff The United States judge presiding over the AIPAC
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2007
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      AIPAC Espionage Trial May Subpoena Rice, Hadley, Abrams, Wolfowitz, Feith
      November 6, 2007
      From CNI Staff


      The United States judge presiding over the AIPAC espionage trial
      involving Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, former senior staffers, has
      ruled that the prosecution may subpoena top U.S. officials, including
      Condoleezza Rice, Stephen Hadley, Richard Armitage, and top neocons
      Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, and Elliott Abrams. It is believed
      that their testimony, should they ever agree to testify, would negate
      the contention that the information collected by Rosen and Weissman
      and passed on to Israel would ever have endangered the interests of
      the United States.

      As Grant Smith of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy
      points out in a recent email to his members and on his website, the
      subpoenas heighten the probability that the case will be dismissed
      altogether since the Bush administration has set a pattern of refusing
      to let its officials testify at congressional hearings. As Judge T.S.
      Ellis has already said, "The government's refusal to comply with a
      subpoena in these circumstances may result in dismissal or lesser
      sanctions."

      Smith also believes that if Michael Mukasey is confirmed and sworn in
      as Attorney General, his record suggests that he will move to have the
      case abandoned.

      The ruling has thus been depicted as a defeat for the prosecution.
      See the article by Nathan Guttman in the Forward.

      ===

      Embattled Aipac Duo Wins Right To Subpoena Rice, Wolfowitz
      By Nathan Guttman
      Mon. Nov 05, 2007
      http://www.forward.com/articles/11953/


      Washington — The government's prosecution of two former pro-Israel
      lobbyists was dealt a major setback Friday when a federal judge
      authorized subpoenas for senior government officials, including
      Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former deputy secretary of
      defense Paul Wolfowitz.

      The subpoenas are a major victory for defendants Steve Rosen, former
      policy director for the American Israel Political Affairs Committee,
      and Keith Weissman, the lobby's former Iran specialist. The decision
      forces administration officials to testify under oath on details of
      their conversations with Aipac lobbyists in which they are alleged to
      have provided classified information.

      The two Aipac lobbyists are on trial for allegedly receiving
      classified information from government officials and relaying it to
      diplomats, journalists and other Aipac staff members. Their attorneys
      are seeking testimony from Rice and others in order to make the case
      that passing on classified information to lobbyists was routine
      conduct in Washington. The prosecution filed a series of motions
      asking that all subpoenas for government officials be dismissed.

      The ruling by T.S. Ellis III, a federal judge for the Eastern District
      of Virginia, could jeopardize the entire case put forward by the
      Department of Justice more than three years ago. The administration
      now faces a tough dilemma. It could follow the court's decision and
      allow senior officials to take the stand, but this might open up to
      public view closed-door discussions between government officials and
      pro-Israel lobbyists and bring to light inter-agency disputes
      regarding American policy toward Iran.

      On the other hand, the government could fight the decision and see the
      legal case fall apart. Ellis warned the prosecution in his decision
      that "the government's refusal to comply with a subpoena in these
      circumstances may result in dismissal or a lesser sanction."

      The judge accepted the defendants' view that in order to prove guilt,
      the prosecution must show to the court that Rosen and Weissman had a
      criminal intent when they received and passed on classified
      information. If the defense can demonstrate, by subpoenaing Rice and
      other officials, that classified information was regularly conveyed to
      Aipac by the highest-ranking government officials, it would help them
      make the case that Rosen and Weissman had no way of knowing they were
      breaking the law by receiving other information from former Pentagon
      analyst Larry Franklin.

      "For over two years we have been explaining that our clients' conduct
      was lawful and completely consistent with how the U.S. government
      dealt with Aipac and other foreign policy groups," said a joint
      statement issued by lawyers representing Rosen and Weissman.

      The trial is set to begin early next year.

      *********************************************************************

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