Secrecy News reports that the government is trying very hard to keep classification expert J. William Leonard, the former director of the Information Security Oversight Office from testifying for the defense and the defendants have sought a court ruling that Mr. Leonard may testify without fear of prosecution himself:
To resolve any lingering legal uncertainty, the defense asked the court to issue an order authorizing Mr. Leonard to testify. "Mr. Leonard has carefully examined the classified information at issue in this case," the defense filing indicated. If and when he is permitted to appear, Mr. Leonard will testify "that information disclosed in this case could not damage national security, was not closely held, and was not demonstrably classified."
Further, Mr. Leonard will testify "that high level government officials frequently disclose information contained in classified documents for the purpose of advancing national security interests instead of harming them," and that "the defendants reasonably could have believed that their conduct was appropriate."
"Given Mr. Leonard's unsurpassed expertise, his testimony is likely to impact the outcome of the trial," the defense said.
However, defendants need an order from the court "to ensure that Mr. Leonard can testify safely, particularly in light of the government's shot across the bow regarding Mr. Leonard's potential criminal liability [if he testifies for the defense]."
See the Defendants' Reply to the Government's Opposition to the Expert Witness Testimony of J. William Leonard, April 11, 2008