Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fourth Circuit Rejects U.S. Appeal in AIPAC Case

In the espionage case against two former AIPAC employees, accused of passing classified information to other AIPAC staffers, foreign officials and the media, the Fourth Circuit rejected the U.S. Government's request to review the trial court's determination that two documents could be introduced into court by the defendants.

The Court held that the government's appeal was interlocutory;  that regarding one admitted document - the "Israel Briefing Document" - whose relevence was unclear, the Court could not "substitute our judgment for that of the trial court, which has been immersed in these proceedings for many months and has far more familiarity with the matter than we do;" and in regards to the other - the "FBI Report" the Court simply upheld the trial court's determination that another document was relevant. 

According to the JTA the "[o]bservers have predicted that the . . . decision could lead the Obama administration to reconsider whether to go ahead with the case."

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