The Lawrence Franklin espionage scandal (also known as the AIPAC espionage scandal) refers to Lawrence Franklin's scandal of passing classified documents regarding United States policy towards Iran to Israel through American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Franklin, a former United States Department of Defense employee, pled guilty to several espionage-related charges and was sentenced in January 2006 to nearly 13 years of prison which was later reduced to ten months house arrest. Franklin passed information to AIPAC policy director Steven Rosen and AIPAC senior Iran analyst Keith Weissman who later were fired by AIPAC. They were later indicted for illegally conspiring to gather and disclose classified national security information to Israel. The case against them eventually was dismissed.
While prosecutors said several 2009 court rulings would have made it almost impossible to obtain a guilty verdict and forced disclosure of large amounts of classified information, defense lawyers and some legal experts said the government was wrong in the first place for trying to criminalize the kind of information horse-trading that long has occurred in Washington. Critics of the case charged that the government was trying to criminalize the routine give and take in Washington. Steve J. Rosen, AIPAC's then-policy director, said he met with senior government officials all the time.
Read more about Lawrence Franklin Espionage Scandal: Background, Criminal Charges, Guilty Plea, Franklin's Account of Events, Accusations Denied By AIPAC and Israel, Pentagon Statement: Franklin Did Not Influence Policy
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