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United States v. Rosen

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
445 F. Supp. 2d 602 (2006)


Facts

Steven Rosen and Keith Wiessman (defendants) were employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a pro-Israel lobbyist organization. While serving in these positions, Rosen and Wiessman developed relationships with government officials who had access to sensitive United States government information. Rosen and Wiessman proceeded to obtain information from these sources and deliberately transmitted the information to unauthorized persons, including members of the media and foreign-government officials. More specifically, over an extended period of time, Rosen and Wiessman acquired and transmitted information related to terrorist activities in Asia and U.S. strategies in the Middle East. As a result of this alleged conduct, the defendants were charged with violating §§ 793(e) and (g) of the Espionage Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 793-93, which make it a crime to transmit national-defense information (NDI) to unauthorized persons or conspire to do so, respectively. The defendants challenged the constitutionality of § 793, arguing that it violates their First Amendment right of free speech.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Ellis, J.)

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