Acting U.S. Attorney Dana Boente of the Eastern District is dropping espionage charges against two Israeli lobbyists.
As noted by the Associated Press, the case against Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman of the American Israel Public Afffairs Committee sparked criticism of the prosecution and provided fuel for Washington intrique .
Critics accused the federal government of trying to criminalize the sort of back-channel discussions between government officials, lobbyists and reporters that are commonplace in the nation’s capital. AIPAC is an influential pro-Israel lobbying group.
Boente said the government moved to dismiss the charges in the drawn-out case after concluding that pretrial rulings would make it too difficult for the government to prove its case.
Posted by Peter Vieth