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Normally, when prosecutors secure a guilty plea in a high-profile case, they’re the first ones to bolt for the microphones. Not so in the case of Pentagon analyst Lawrence Franklin, who was charged with leaking classified information to two former officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. When word surfaced last week that Franklin would plead guilty in federal court in Virginia to communicating classified information, it didn’t come from U.S. Attorney Paul McNulty. Rather it was left to court officials to issue a Sept. 29 press release. “Everybody is absolutely surprised that this was done,” says Plato Cacheris, Franklin’s lawyer, who called the move “strange.” Edward Adams, a spokesman for the court, points out that the change of plea hearing, scheduled for Oct. 5, is a matter of public record. As for the press release, Adams says “it is routine” to put out news advisories in big cases, “because it’s more efficient” than fielding media calls.
Jason McLure can be contacted at [email protected].

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