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Analyst admits giving secrets to Israel

A top Defense Department analyst pleaded guilty Wednesday to giving classified information to Israel.
FRANKLIN RICHARDS
Lawrence Franklin, left, leaves a federal courthouse in Alexandria, Va., in May. Franklin, a Pentagon analyst, pleaded guilty Wednesday to providing classified information to an Israeli official.Kevin Wolf / AP file
/ Source: The Associated Press

A top Defense Department analyst with expertise in the Middle East pleaded guilty Wednesday to giving classified information to an Israeli Embassy official and members of a pro-Israel lobbying group.

Lawrence A. Franklin, 58, said during a plea hearing that he was frustrated with government policy and that he had hoped the two members of American Israel Public Affairs Committee could influence policy with their connections at the National Security Council.

He also admitted giving classified information to a political official at the Israeli Embassy, but said the information he received from the official was far more valuable than what he gave.

Franklin pleaded guilty to two conspiracy counts and a charge of unlawful retention of national defense information. U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III set sentencing for Jan. 20.