FAS.org, from the Federation of American Scientists, is reporting a new development in the prosecution of two former officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Agreeing with the defense account of events, the Judge found:
In 2004 and 2005, when "the government was actively investigating defendants and AIPAC, prosecutors implicitly or explicitly threatened AIPAC with criminal charges, and/or threatened further intense scrutiny of AIPAC in the event the government perceived AIPAC's cooperation as unsatisfactory."
AIPAC upon recipet of this threat,fired the defendants and ceased to pay their legal fees. The organization was not charged in the indictment.
Defendants have adequately shown a wrongful [government] interference with their contractual relations with AIPAC"the Judge ruled in its memorandum opinion (p. 16).
He found the Government's policy
"is unquestionably obnoxious and is fraught with the risk of constitutional harm in specific cases," Judge Ellis wrote (p. 26).
But in this case, the practice did not prejudice the defendants, he said, since they nevertheless managed to assemble an extremely capable defense team.
Nevertheless, Judge Ellis refused to dismiss the case based on the Government's conduct because
FAS is also reporting that trial, first set for June 4, has been postponed. A closed hearing is scheduled for June 7.
"A mountain of evidence convincingly demonstrates that defense counsel's zealous, thorough, and effective representation of defendants has not been adversely affected by the loss of AIPAC's fee payments,"