Friday, August 5, 2005

Lobbyists Charged

On May 4, 2005, Lawrence Franklin, a defense department analyst, was arrested. (see here for background on this case) The indictment against him, unsealed on June 13, 2005, charged him with "communicat[ing] national defense information to persons not entitled to receive it," and conspiracy.  Two individuals, who were lobbyists, have now been added to this case.

The New York Times reports here that two former lobbyists for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) have been indicted for conspiracy to "communicate national defense information." One the individuals, Steven J. Rosen, is also charged with "unlawfully, knowingly and willfully aid[ing] and abet[ting] Franklin in the communication, delivery and transmission of said document, writing and note." (See indictment). With Attorney Plato Cacheris representing Franklin, and Attorney Abbe Lowell representing Steven J. Rosen, this is definitely a case to follow. The Washington Post provides more details and comments from defense counsel here.

The press release of the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia states here:

"The indictment alleges that beginning in April of 1999, Rosen, the Director of Foreign Policy Issues for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in Washington, D.C., and Weissman, the Senior Middle East Analyst in the Foreign Policy Issues Department at AIPAC, in an effort to influence persons within and outside the United States government, would use their contacts within the United States government, including Franklin, with whom they first met in February 2003, to gather sensitive United States government information, including classified information relating to the national defense, for subsequent unlawful communication, delivery and transmission to persons not entitled to receive it, including members of the media and foreign government officials."


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