US Court Upholds Use of Secret Evidence Against Pollard;

Decision Denies Security-Cleared Attorney Access to Documents

Justice4JP Release - January 13, 2001

The January 12, 2001 ruling of Chief Judge Norma Holloway Johnson of the District Court of Columbia reveals that the American Government continues its policy of deliberately misleading the Court in its on-going persecution of Jonathan Pollard. The Government claims that allowing Jonathan Pollard's

security-cleared attorney, Eliot Lauer

, to see the classified portion of the Pollard docket

would pose a risk to national security

. Misled by the Government, the Court accepted this assertion.

The Government has never explained why

Lauer, who has TOP SECRET level security clearance

might pose a threat to national security if he were to view the sealed portions of these documents. Nor has it ever explained why, if these documents are so sensitive, both Pollard and his previous counsel, Richard Hibey, were allowed to see them at all.

The Court also upheld the government's claim that Pollard's attorney has

"no need to know"

the classified portions of the material - even though those very portions are routinely cited by government officials as the reason that Pollard should never be released.

The 1986 Protective Order governing access to these documents anticipated that they would be viewed by others in the future and provided a stringent process for gaining access. Pollard's attorney has successfully completed the process and holds all the requisite clearances. The Government nevertheless maintains its position that

allowing any additional access to the sealed portion of the docket would pose a threat to national security


The Court dismissed Pollard's attorney's assertion that he has a "pressing need to see the documents" in order to refute false charges against his client during the clemency process. The Court responded that the President has access to the classified material and has not asked for assistance from Mr. Pollard's attorney.

Justice4JP points out that while the President may have access to the material, he must rely on others to interpret it. The Court's ruling upholds the status quo, namely that

the only ones who can interpret this material for the President are those government agencies who adamantly oppose Jonathan Pollard's release


Justice4JP also points out that the Court's ruling continues to

prevent Pollard's attorneys from challenging the false charges contained in the Weinberger Memorandum

. Since he was sentenced in 1987, none of Pollard's security-cleared attorneys has ever been allowed access to the Weinberger document in order to challenge it in a court of law or to refute it within the clemency process.

The Court's ruling means that now and in future,

American presidents will continue to see the Weinberger document, unchallenged

, and interpreted by one side only - those opposed to clemency for Jonathan Pollard.

The Court Order also stated that for clemency purposes,

the President can review the memoranda prepared by Richard Hibey, "who had access to the classified materials."

Richard Hibey, Pollard's previous attorney, failed miserably in his representation, even neglecting to appeal the life sentence that Pollard received in a blatant breach of his plea agreement.

Based on Hibey's utter failure to effectively represent him

, Jonathan Pollard has filed a separate motion before the same court and Chief Judge Norma Holloway Johnson, seeking to vacate his sentence.

Jonathan Pollard and his attorneys, Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman will confer to determine the next steps to be taken.

See Also:

  1. A full description of previous attorney Richard Hibey's utter failure to effectively represent Jonathan Pollard contained in the various Section 2255 motion documents on the

    Court Case Page,


    Jonathan Pollard's Affidavit

    , and his attorneys'

    Memorandum of Law.

  2. Legal Documents related to the Motion to Unseal the Secret Documents on the Court Case including the

    ACLU Amicus Brief in Support of Motion to Unseal the Record.

  3. Rule 35 Motion For A Reduction of Sentence

  4. Legal Doc: Court Decision - Pollard's Security-Cleared Counsel Denied Access to the Secret Docket