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Pollard’s parole termination likely required ‘wink,’ from White House — lawyer

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23.11.2020

NEW YORK — The termination of Jonathan Pollard’s parole likely required a “wink and a nod” from the highest levels of the White House, an attorney for the former US Navy analyst convicted of spying for Israel said Sunday.

However, speaking to The Times of Israel, Eliot Lauer said that the Friday decision by the Justice Department to lift all restrictions against his client and allow him to travel to Israel was mostly due to the strength of the defense’s case.

Lauer pointed out that in agreeing to release Pollard from prison in 2015 — after he served 30 years of a life-sentence — the Justice Department acknowledged that his client was unlikely to commit new crimes.

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“We reminded the government that it would be truly laughable for it to try and take the position today that after 35 years, and after five years as a model parolee with absolutely no criticisms or infractions, that they would try and take the position that he is likely to disclose ‘confidential’ information in violation of the law,” Lauer said, adding that his office informed the Justice Department that if they did not receive a certificate terminating Pollard’s parole by the day it ended on Friday, they
“could expect us to be in court by Monday seeking that order.” In this July 22, 2016 file photo, convicted spy Jonathan Pollard, left, with his lawyer, Eliot Lauer, leave federal court in New York following a hearing. (AP Photo/Larry Neumeister, File)

“I firmly believe that without any intervention or wink-and-a-nod, this would have occurred, either voluntarily by the Department of Justice working in accordance with the law or with a court forcing a parole commission to issue this certificate,” Lauer said.

“At the same time, given the way Washington works, I have to assume that there’s a reasonable possibility that the Department of Justice received a wink-and-a-nod and a go-ahead from the administration at the highest levels, whether it’s [White House chief-of-staff] Mark Meadows or above,” he added.

Asked on Friday by the Kan public broadcaster whether the Trump administration or the Israeli government had something to do with the termination of his parole, Lauer replied: “During Prime Minister Netanyahu’s administrations, there was a tremendous effort on the part of the Israeli government. We probably would take the credit, but I think the Good Lord wanted Jonathan........

© The Times of Israel


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