A former U.S. Defense Department analyst pleaded guilty to charges he gave classified military documents to unauthorized individuals.
Lawrence A. Franklin, 58, who worked on the Pentagon's Iran desk, pleaded guilty today in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, to three counts. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the most serious of the charges. The government recommended his sentencing be delayed to let him complete his cooperation in the case.
"I divulged classified information to individuals unauthorized to receive it,'' Franklin said in court.
Franklin, a former colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, admitted handing over classified information to two former employees of the leading pro-Israel lobbying group in Washington. The men, Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, were charged in August with conspiring to disclose information they received form Franklin to foreign government officials.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, fired policy director Rosen and senior Iran analyst Weissman in April.
More than 80 classified documents were found during a search of Franklin's home in Kearneysville, West Virginia, and a search of his Pentagon office a year ago yielded the classified document containing the information he was accused of revealing.
The case is U.S. v. Franklin, 05cr225, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. A trial has been scheduled for Sept. 9.