AIPAC Trial May Subpoena Rice, Hadley, Abrams, Wolfowitz, Feith
- 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
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
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
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.
WORLD VIEW NEWS SERVICE
To subscribe to this group, send an email to:
NEWS ARCHIVE IS OPEN TO PUBLIC VIEW
Need some good karma? Appreciate the service?
Please consider donating to WVNS today.
Email ummyakoub@... for instructions.
To leave this list, send an email to: