home |about | news | search | donate | IRmep




Steven J. Rosen v. AIPAC


On March 2, 2009 Steven J. Rosen filed a civil lawsuit in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia accusing his former employer, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, its directors, and an outside public relations firm of libel and slander. Rosen, AIPAC's former foreign policy chief, is seeking damages of $5 million from AIPAC and punitive damages of $500,000 each from former board members.  Rosen's lawsuit seeks $21 million in total damages for statements he claims AIPAC made that were "knowingly false and defamatory and issued in reckless disregard for the harm to Mr. Rosen."  The civil suit is related to the 2005 criminal indictment of AIPAC officials Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman along with Department of Defense employee Colonel Lawrence Franklin under the Espionage Act. The suit is currently in the DC Court of Appeals. 

Document/File Date Contents
04/26/2012 New Appeals Court uphold dismissal of defamation suit.
02/15/2012     Chief Judge Washington, Associate Judge Blackburne-Rigsby, Senior Judge Ferren order. "On consideration of the motion of Grant F. Smith for leave to file the lodged amicus brief, and appellee's opposition thereto, it is ORDERED that the motion is granted and the lodged amicus brief is filed. PER CURIAM.
02/14/2012 Oral arguments.
02/08/2012 (590 KB) AIPAC characterizes the IRmep brief as "completely inaccurate portrayals of events that occurred decades ago" but seeks dismissal on procedural grounds.  "District of Columbia Appeals Rule 29 requires that an amicus curiae must file its brief and motion no later than seven days after the principal brief of the party being supported is filed." 
02/03/2012 (4 MB) Motion for Leave to File a brief as Amicus Curiae (178 KB, 5 pages) "District of Columbia Appeals Rule 29 requires that an amicus curiae must file its brief and motion no later than seven days after the principal brief of the party being supported is filed."  IRmep counters that "Rule 29 allows the court to 'grant leave for later filing'" and that "some information herein presented which has direct applicability to this case and the public interest was only fully released on January 20, 2012."
Brief (186 KB, 15 pages)  "AIPAC has never abandoned its original role as an arm of the Israeli government in the United States."

The IRmep brief substantiates that "AIPAC's observable standard for employees is 'solicit, obtain and leverage classified information without being criminally indicted.' AIPAC is never held publicly accountable for these types of activities which harm governance and public perception of rule of law."

The IRmep brief presents evidence that AIPAC rewarded employees "who successfully solicited, obtained and circulated classified US government information." The brief includes State Department files declassified in January, 2012 revealing how former AIPAC Director Morris Amitay endangered US national security when he obtained and used classified Pentagon files to thwart a US-Jordan defense arrangement in 1974. 

Index and Exhibits (3.7 MB, 58 pages)

Court of Appeals returns motion and brief for failure to seek consent to file from appellant and appellee under Rule 27. Notifies AIPAC legal counsel.

The applicable part of Rule 27 states: (4) Statement of Consent or Opposition; Service. A party filing a motion for a procedural order must, before filing the motion, attempt to secure the consent of each party and attempt to determine if an opposition or response will be filed. The movant must state at the beginning of the motion whether the motion is unopposed, whether an opposition will be filed, or whether it was impossible to contact one or more of the parties. In calendared, emergency, and expedited cases, if the movant states that an opposition will be filed or if the movant is unable to contact any other party, the movant must personally serve the motion on the other parties.

01/13/2012  (6.2MB)

Motion for Leave to File a brief as Amicus Curiae (209 KB, 5 pages) "A judgment issued on the basis of misrepresentation may also negatively impact future civil actions and criminal prosecutions in an area of increasing national concern..."
Brief (243 KB, 12 pages) "The Defendant-Appellee must not be allowed to use this or any other court proceeding to knit together dark yarn of false statements into an opaque cloak of manufactured facts."
Index and Exhibits (6.32 MB, 79 pages)
08/16/2011  (PDF) Reply Brief of Appellant "...AIPAC's brief asserts that the March 3 statement 'did not rest on any objectively verifiable facts.' AIPAC is thus contending that its spokesman uttered a defamatory statement about Mr. Rosen without 'any objectively verifiable facts.'"
7/25/2011  (PDF) Brief Appellee American Israel Public Affairs Committee "What he [Rosen] does not go on to indicate is that following an FBI investigation, that AIPAC was cleared of any wrongdoing and the document that formed the basis of the investigation contained no classified national defense information…There was no evidence of any kind presented in the record that the alleged 1984 involvement by AIPAC that was investigated by the FBI, involved an impropriety by AIPAC or any AIPAC employee. The matter clearly involved no classified documents."
 06/20/2011 (PDF) Appeal No. 11-cv-368 Brief of Appellant "....Further facts bear on the issue of AlPAC's asserted 'standards' and reasons for firing Rosen. In or about February 1984, AIPAC employee Rosen was involved in receiving classified information and the FBI had investigated the matter. In that situation, the FBI investigated Rosen's receipt of classified information that members of Libya's U.N. Mission had provided money to a U.S. presidential candidate's staff. AIPAC management did not criticize, castigate or terminate Rosen, but instead obtained legal counsel for Rosen, endorsed Rosen's activities at the time, and gave Rosen high marks in his performance appraisals thereafter - all which information was disclosed to AlPAC counsel Nat Lewin in an email from Rosen in February of 2005..."
 06/20/2011 (PDF) Appendix  Email detailing Steven J. Rosen's use of classified information on Libya.  Email to AIPAC director Howard Kohr about classified information on Iran.
03/23/2011 (PDF) On March 23, 2011 Steve J. Rosen notifies the Appeals Coordinator's Office that he will appeal the order dated October 30, 2009 dismissing claims against AIPAC's board of directors and the February 23, 2011 summary judgment dismissing Rosen's $20 million defamation lawsuit.
02/23/2011 (PDF) Judge Erik P. Christian dismisses the defamation suit.  "Allowing Rosen's claim to go to trial would task the jury with identifying the standards referred to in the March 3 Times article, determining whether AIPAC had such express or implied standards, and determining whether Rosen's conduct was in accordance with those standards.  As explained above, these would be impossible tasks."  At the same time, inviting a jury to scrutinize and second-guess an employer's policies and business judgment would effectively convert this garden-variety claim for defamation into one for wrongful termination or discrimination. In contrast to those employment claims, the issue in this case is not the veracity of AIPAC's motivation for firing Rosen (that is, whether its motivation was pretextual). The issue is the objective truth of AIPAC's public statement concerning Rosen's firing. It is on this limited issue that the Court concludes that the statement is not provably false, and therefore, not defamatory as a matter of law.
02/07/2010  (PDF) Defendant opposition to Grant Smith's Second Motion for Leave to File Brief as "Amicus Curiae"  and ..."accusations that AIPAC is bilking US taxpayers by making a legitimate claim on its insurance policy and by having a representative from its insurer present at a mediation..."
01/28/2011 (PDF) Grant F. Smith 2nd Request to file Amicus Curiae  "The amicus curiae is concerned that if the defendant succeeds in minimizing and trivializing its past activities by incorrectly claiming "AIPAC was cleared of any wrongdoing" when in fact it never was, and that declassified FBI documents detailing its past patterns of classified information trafficking are "ancient" and "irrelevant to this action" that the amicus interest in holding AIPAC accountable under FARA could be subverted through such unwarranted minimization of classified information trafficking.
Amicus Curiae Exhibits


Complaint filed with the Department of Justice on November 4, 2009 by the amicus curiae "The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is an Unregistered Foreign Agent of the Israeli Government"


13909 Tax-Exempt Organization Complaint Referral filed by the amicus curiae with the IRS on November 22, 2010 "American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) The Case for Revocation of Tax Exemption EIN 53-0217164"

3 (PDF)

December 2, 2010 IRS letter to amicus curiae confirming complaint receipt and soliciting additional information.

01/25/2011 (PDF) New! Plaintiff motion to strike defendant filing as "too late."
01/19/2011  (PDF) Defendant motion to Strike Grant F. Smith amicus brief
01/13/2011 (PDF)  Mediation failure notice.
01/11/2011 (PDF)  Consent motion for Pennsylvania insurance adjuster Mr. McKernan to participate in a 1/13/2011 mediation session via telephone.
01/09/2011 (PDF) 

Reply Memorandum Of Defendants In Support Of Their Motion To Strike Plaintiff's Opposition Memorandum And For Sanctions

01/10/2011 (PDF) Grant F. Smith Request to file Amicus Curiae
01/10/2011 (PDF)   Grant F. Smith Amicus Curiae "Brief Of Amici Curiae In Opposition To Defendants Representations about the 1984 to 1987 FBI Investigation Of AIPAC for Espionage and Theft Of Government Property and Consequences"
01/10/2011 (PDF)   Grant F. Smith Amicus Curiae Exhibits


US Trade Representative 03/09/2009 letter of Denial to Grant F. Smith's FOIA #08122049 for release of document Probable Economic Effect of Providing Duty Free Treatment for U.S. Imports from Israel, Investigation, No. 332-180


Declassified 08/13/1984 Washington Field Office investigation summary released under FOIA 1124826-000 Document No. 137 in Plaintiff's Production of Documents.


FBI response cover letter to Grant F. Smith dated 07/31/2009 releasing 82 pages of its investigation of AIPAC for espionage and theft of government property under FOIA 1124826-000


FBI Director 11/15/1985 AIRTEL to FBI Washington Field Office to Reopen AIPAC investigation released under FOIA 1124826-000


Special Agent John Hosinki 12/17/1985 memorandum to FBI Washington Field Office on theft and unauthorized disclosure of documents from the U.S. International Trade Commission released under FOIA 1124826-000


FBI Form FD-302 Interview of AIPAC Female Employee #1 12/19/1985 released under FOIA 1124826-000


FBI Form FD-302 Interview of AIPAC Female Employee #2 12/19/1985 released under FOIA 1124826-000


FBI Form FD-302 Interview of AIPAC Male Employee #1 02/13/1986 released under FOIA 1124826-000


FBI Form FD-302 Interview of Israeli diplomat 03/07/1986 released under FOIA 1124826-000


2/15/1984 Federal Register notice document of Investigation, No. 332-180


11/1/1987 US Bromine Alliance Letter to ITC over Data loss ITC Public file


11/29/1987 ITC Letter to the US Bromine Alliance to over Data loss ITC Public file


ITC Public file of organizations participating in Investigation No. 332-180


05/02/1984 Monsanto Letter to ITC over Patents  ITC Public file


ISCAP 10/21/2010 Letter to Grant F. Smith about process for declassification and release of Effect of Providing Duty-Free Treatment for Imports from Israel Investigation No. 332-180 ISCAP #2010-074


01/03/2011 (PDF) Consent Motion for Leave to File Defendants Reply Memorandum in Support of their Motion for Summary Judgment
12/30/2010 (PDF) Memorandum in Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Strike Plaintiff's Opposition Memorandum and for Sanctions
12/23/2010 (PDF)   Defendants' Motion to Strike Plaintiff's Opposition Memorandum and for Sanctions
12/14/2010 (PDF) Plaintiff's Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Opposition to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment.
12/14/2010 (PDF) Plaintiff's Statement of Genuine Issues
12/14/2010 (PDF) Exhibit Index
12/14/2010 Attachments

Steven J. Rosen Memo to AIPAC
Internal AIPAC emails deliberating appeasement of Prosecutors
AIPAC memo to US AT about Jonathan Pollard
AIPAC fundraising letter during espionage crisis
Email about AIPAC's commitment to make Rosen whole after crisis
Partial Howard Kohr deposition about AIPAC espionage
Lewin & Lewin explanation of reason for terminating Rosen
Internal AIPAC "Narrative" development for espionage crisis
AIPAC internal damage assessment report
Chadbourne & Clarke LLP outside damage assessment

11/22/2010 Order Granting Motion for an Enlargement of Time for Plaintiff to File Opposition to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment Entered on the Docket. Signed by Judge Erik P. Christian on 11/22/2010. E-filed, e-served, and docketed on 11/22/2010... mlh 
11/22/2010 Mediation Cancelled By Chambers The following event: Mediation Session (Civil 2) scheduled for 12/13/2010 at 11:00 am has been changed as follows: .Event: Mediation Session (Civil 2) Date: 01/13/2011 Time: 11:00 am Judge: CIVIL 2 MEDIATOR Location: MEDIATION CENTER, 515 5th Street, N.W., Room 104
11/08/2010 (PDF) AIPAC motion for summary judgment and dismissal.
08/11/2010 Order Granting Motion to Modify Scheduling Order (from October 18, 2010 Entered on the Docket. Signed by Judge Erik P. Christian.
08/11/2010  (PDF) Alternative Dispute Resolution is rescheduled to begin on 12/13/2010 at 11:00 am Judge: CIVIL 2 MEDIATOR Location: MEDIATION CENTER, 515 5th Street, N.W., Room 104
05/29/2010 (PDF) Stipulated Protective Order
05/14/2010 (PDF)   AIPAC warning to Rosen to return AIPAC proprietary documents.
03/29/2010 (PDF)   Plaintiff Steve J. Rosen and defendant AIPAC sign a protective order governing the use and disclosure of Confidential Information.
03/29/2010 (PDF) Plaintiff Steve J. Rosen and defendant AIPAC jointly modify scheduling to close discovery on June 11, 2010, set a June 25 deadline for filing motions, and Alternative Dispute Resolution (mediation) on August 9, 2010.
11/20/2009 (PDF) Judge Jeannette J. Clark modifies the scheduling of Rosen v. AIPAC.  On 12/14/2009 parties file statements about discover from experts to be called at trial.  The discovery process will close on 3/02/2010.  The parties will enter alternative dispute resolution process (ADR) from 5/3/2010 through 06/03/2010 and enter pre-trial upon completion of ADR if no settlement is reached.
11/11/2009 (PDF) AIPAC requests dismissal of remaining complaint and reimbursement of costs and attorney's fees.  AIPAC alleges that Rosen's complaint may be barred by the doctrine of "unclean hands" which denies monetary remedy because the plaintiff was acting unethically or in bad faith with respect to the subject of the complaint, and that "equity must come with clean hands".
10/30/2009 (PDF) Judge Jeannette J. Clark dismisses all plaintiff complaints against AIPAC directors and contractors.  The judge sustains plaintiffs right to have a jury decide wither AIPAC acted with malice when it stated publicly that Rosen did not "reflect AIPAC standards."
09/18/2009 (PDF) Rosen files a list of prospective witnesses who may be called to testify at trial.  The list  of forty-eight individuals includes: Lawrence Franklin, Keith Weissman, Douglas Bloomfield, Morris Amitay, Thomas Dine, Elliott Abrams, John Bolton, Martin Indyk, David Satterfield, Kenneth Pollack, Malcolm Hoenlein, and Abraham Foxman.
08/24/2009 (PDF) Rosen claims legal precedent for allowing aggrieved parties to file lawsuits outside normal statutes of limitations for extenuating circumstances, in this case Rosen's 2005 criminal indictment and lengthy pretrial maneuvers.  Rosen claims he "will be in a position to prove his allegations with evidence following discovery."
08/07/2009 (PDF) AIPAC counterclaims Rosen "has misdirected his anger" by suing AIPAC rather than the "government agency that directly investigated him and indicted him for purported criminal activities."  AIPAC claims Rosen failed to demonstrate AIPAC's intent to defame under higher standards for public figures.
07/08/2009 (PDF)  Rosen counters that both he and Weissman were fired only to save AIPAC from being criminally indicted. 

"On February 17, 2005, only two weeks after awarding Mr. Rosen the $7,000 special bonus for excellence in job performance, the AIPAC Board of Directors placed him on involuntary leave.  This was done immediately after AIPAC was threatened by the Justice Department in a meeting between AIPAC's counsel and its Executive Director Howard Khor and federal prosecutors on February 15, 2005.  There the lead federal prosecutor stated that, "We could make real progress and get AIPAC out from under all of this," if AIPAC showed more cooperation with the government.  On February 16, 2005, AIPAC's counsel said that the lead federal prosecutor "is fighting with the FBI to limit the investigation to Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman and to avoid expanding it."  This warning implied that AIPAC's Executive Director and the AIPAC organization as a whole could become targets."


05/13/2009 (PDF) AIPAC motion to dismiss asserting that Rosen failed to show "factual allegations" that could be considered in any way defamatory.  AIPAC charges Rosen filed his suit outside the one-year statute of limitations for defamation and that AIPAC board members have various immunities under District of Columbia statutes.
03/03/2009 (PDF)

Civil defamation lawsuit.  AIPAC fired Rosen and Weissman in 2005 after they were criminally indicted under the 1917 Espionage Act. AIPAC's spokesman told the New York Times in April of 2005 that Rosen's actions differed from "the conduct that AIPAC expects from its employees." On July 7, 2005 the spokesperson told the New Yorker that "Rosen [and his colleagues] were dismissed because they engaged in conduct that was not part of their jobs and because this conduct did not comport with the standards that AIPAC expects and requires of its employees."


Notice: these case files have been selected and presented as a public service but do not represent all court files submitted in the referenced court action.

home |about | news | search | donate
Contents of this website Copyright 2008-2017 Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, Inc. All rights reserved.           
Terms and Conditions for use of materials found on this website.