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August 04, 2005

Sorry, Karl: the Espionage Act is alive and well

Today a Virginia US Attorney announced indictments for three individuals involved in the AIPAC scandal.  I haven't followed this story very closely, so I have nothing to say about the merits of the case.

What is worthy of note, however, is that one of the statutes used to prosecute these guys,* 18 USC 793(d) (also known as the "Espionage Act"), seems to apply with impressive precision to what Karl Rove did in the course of telling Bob Novak, Matt Cooper, and God only knows who else that Joe Wilson's wife was a CIA operative working on weapons of mass destruction.  I have noted the excellent fit between Rove's actions and the Espionage Act before; what I was unsure of is whether this statute still gets used.  Clearly, based on today's announcements, it does.  Bad news for Karl.

*NB: the indictment in the link is not the same one announced today, but is instead an earlier indictment in the same matter.  I have not been able to confirm with certainty that today's superseding indictment relies on the same statute, but it seems extremely likely that it does.  I will update if I can find a copy of today's indictment.   I have updated the link to point to today's indictment. It does indeed rely on the Espionage Act.

Posted by David at 05:38 PM in Law and Lawyers, National | Permalink

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from Mark A. R. Kleiman
Indictments under the Espionage Act for politically-motivated release of classified information to the press. Could someone please pass Mr. Luskin the Excedrin? [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 4, 2005 7:31:29 PM

Comments

Note the prominent role played by Form SF-312.

Posted by: Geek, Esq. | Aug 6, 2005 2:11:11 AM

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