"Justice Department Drops Charges in AIPAC Case"

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Federal prosecutors moved Friday to dismiss espionage-related charges against two former pro-Israel lobbyists accused of disclosing classified defense information, ending a tortuous inside-the-Beltway legal battle rife with national security intrigue.

Critics of the prosecution of Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee had accused the federal government of trying to criminalize the sort of back-channel discussions between government officials, lobbyists and reporters that are commonplace in the nation’s capital. AIPAC is an influential pro-Israel lobbying group.