On March 2, 2009, Rosen filed the civil lawsuit against his former employer, directors, and an outside public relations firm for libel and slander. Rosen, AIPAC’s former foreign policy chief, seeks $5 million in damages from AIPAC, and punitive damages of $500,000 from each former board member, for a total claim of $21 million. AIPAC made statements to the news media Rosen believes were “knowingly false and defamatory and issued in reckless disregard.” AIPAC fired Rosen and fellow employee Keith Weissman after they were criminally indicted under the 1917 Espionage Act in 2005. Both were caught up in an FBI sting operation receiving classified information from Department of Defense employee Col. Lawrence Franklin, who pled guilty and turned state’s witness. After years of pretrial maneuvers during which presiding Judge T.S. Ellis steadily raised the standards for conviction, U.S. government prosecutors reluctantly dropped .pdf their case in May 2009.