Israel lobbyists may use classified documents in espionage defense: Fourth Circuit

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Tuesday that two former lobbyists may use classified documents in their defense against charges [case materials] under the 1917 Espionage Act [18 USC 793 text]. Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, previously with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) [advocacy website], are charged with conspiring to convey classified US intelligence to the Israeli government [JURIST report]. Tuesday's decision affirmed a ruling of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia [official website] that the defendant's would be allowed to use certain classified materials in their defense under the Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA) [text].

The district court ruled in 2006 that the prosecution must show the defendants "had bad faith purposes" [AP report], as well as knowledge that their actions would harm the United States. Rosen and Weissman had earlier challenged the constitutionality [JURIST report] of the Espionage Act, which has been construed ever more narrowly since it was first passed during World War I.

 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.