JUN 23 2000 [date stamped]


v.                                             		Criminal No. 99-1417 JP



Dr. Wen Ho Lee, through undersigned counsel, respectfully moves the Court, pursuant to the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, for discovery of materials relevant to establishing that the government has engaged in unconstitutional selective prosecution.

The grounds for this motion are set forth in the accompanying memorandum.

I HEREBY CERTIFY that a true copy of the foregoing was mailed to opposing counsel this 25th day of June, 2000.

Nancy Hollander


JUN 23 2000 [date stamped]


v.                                             		Criminal No. 99-1417 JP




Defendant Wen Ho Lee is the only person the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has selected for indictment under the draconian Atomic Energy Act since it was passed in 1948. During this fifty-year period, the DOJ has repeatedly declined to fully investigate, much less charge, individuals who may have compromised classified nuclear weapons related information.

The DOJ also indicted Dr. Lee under 18 U.S.C. 793(c) and (e) for the alleged mishandling of computer codes and data files, even though these files had not been classified at the time of Dr. Lee's alleged activities. Instead, the computer codes and data files had been designated as "protect as restricted data" (PARD), which ranks between unclassified and confidential on the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) security hierarchy. Moreover, the government obtained the indictment under 793 even though it concededly has no evidence that the codes and data files were ever transferred to any unauthorized person. Not one person other than Dr. Lee has ever been charged under 793 for mishandling materials that had not been formally classified and that were not transferred.

Dr. Lee has obtained concrete proof that the government improperly targeted him for criminal prosecution because he is "ethnic Chinese." This direct evidence includes the following:

Dr. Lee has requested that the government provide specific reports and files to him that squarely relate to the issue of whether he has been selectively prosecuted as a result of improper racial profiling. The government has refused to provide any of these documents to Dr. Lee.

Because Dr. Lee is the only person who has ever been selected for prosecution under the Atomic Energy Act,1 and the only person ever prosecuted in remotely similar circumstances under 793, and because he has uncovered specific direct admissions from the government that he was targeted for criminal investigation because he is "ethnic Chinese," he has made the necessary showing to obtain this discovery. Even if Dr. Lee did not have this direct evidence, he has also satisfied the stringent requirements of United States v. Armstrong, 517 U.S. 456 (1996), which held that in the absence of direct evidence of impermissible racial targeting, a defendant is nevertheless entitled to discovery if he provides some evidence that similarly situated people have not been prosecuted and that his investigation and prosecution were caused by improper racial motivations.

This memorandum summarizes compelling evidence that the DOJ had an informal policy of refusing to bring criminal charges in situations similar to and (even more egregious than) Dr. Lee's case. In addition, we provide several specific examples of similarly situated individuals whom the government has chosen not to indict under either the Atomic Energy Act or 793. Unlike the meritless selective prosecution discovery motions discussed in Armstrong, where several thousand men and women of all races had been charged under the same statutes as the defendants, Dr. Lee can conclusively establish that he is the only person whom the government has ever chosen to indict under the Atomic Energy Act and the only person indicted in similar circumstances under 793.


A. The Indictment

On December 10, 1999, the government brought a fifty-nine-count indictment against Dr. Lee. Thirty-nine counts allege that Dr. Lee violated the Atomic Energy Act because he purportedly mishandled material containing restricted data, with the intent to injure the United States, and with the intent to secure an advantage to a foreign nation. Dr. Lee was also charged with ten counts of unlawfully obtaining national defense information in violation of 18 U.S.C. 793(c), and with ten counts of willfully retaining national defense information in violation of 18 U.S.C. 793(e).

B. Dr. Lee's Discovery Requests

Dr. Lee's counsel have made a written request to the prosecution for specific materials his counsel believe contain direct evidence that Dr. Lee was improperly selected for prosecution because he is "ethnic Chinese." 2 Among the several categories of materials requested were: (1) the reports and memoranda supporting the findings of the DOE's Task Force on Racial Profiling's January 2000 report, (2) the Defensive Information to Counter Espionage videotapes, that were created by DOE counterintelligence and shown to DOE employees until last year, and are now prohibited at LANL because they allegedly contain racial stereotypes; (3) DOE or DOJ memoranda and reports confirming that the FBI targets Americans of Chinese ethnicity for potential criminal espionage involving the PRC; (4) the DOJ's and DOE's responses to the numerous Congressional inquiries related to the justification for and details of the investigation of Dr. Lee; (5) the classified September 1999 State Department report by Jacqueline Williams-Bridger, detailing hundreds of cases of mishandling classified information, including cases of actual passing of classified information; and (6) information concerning specific cases in which the government declined to prosecute under circumstances similar to, or more egregious than, this case. The government has refused to produce any of the materials requested by Dr. Lee's counsel.


The Supreme Court established the threshold for discovery on selective prosecution claims in United States v. Armstrong, 517 U.S. 456 (1996). The Court held that to obtain discovery in a case in which the court is asked to infer discriminatory purpose, a defendant must produce (1) some evidence that similarly situated individuals have not been prosecuted, and (2) some evidence of improper motivation in deciding to prosecute. The Court did not decide whether a defendant should be required to produce some evidence that similarly situated persons have not been prosecuted if the prosecution has admitted having a "discriminatory purpose." Id. at 469 n.3.


As we demonstrate below, Dr. Lee clearly meets the legal standard that Armstrong establishes for discovery related to a selective prosecution claim. In Part A, he presents direct evidence that government officials have admitted a racial basis for investigating Dr. Lee, and in Part B, he establishes that the government has declined to prosecute similarly situated persons.

A. Dr. Lee has Direct Evidence that He was Targeted for Criminal Investigation Because He is "Ethnic Chinese."

The troubling chain of events that led to Dr. Lee's indictment began when the DOE's Chief Intelligence Officer, Notra Trulock, incorrectly concluded in 1995 that the PRC had obtained the design information for the W-88 warhead from someone at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.3 Mr. Trulock began an Administrative Inquiry to identify the suspect or suspects who should be the focus of this counterintelligence investigation. On May 29, 1996, Mr. Trulock issued the Administrative Inquiry which listed Dr. Lee as the main suspect. This Administrative Inquiry led to meetings between DOE counterintelligence officials and FBI Special Agents in New Mexico regarding Dr. Lee. The FBI then opened a criminal investigation of Dr. Lee.

1. Vrooman's Declaration Establishes that the Government Engaged in Improper Racial Profiling

Robert Vrooman, who was the Chief Counterintelligence Officer at LANL from 1987 until 1998, participated in the Administrative Inquiry and assisted in the resulting criminal investigation of Dr. Lee. Mr. Vrooman is adamant that Mr. Trulock's targeting of Dr. Lee for investigation was the result of improper racial profiling. In a declaration, attached as Exhibit C, Mr. Vrooman states:

Mr. Trulock's office chose to focus specifically on Dr. Lee because he is "ethnic Chinese." Caucasians with the same background and foreign contacts as Dr. Lee were ignored.

Vrooman Decl., Ex. C at 3, ¶ 9. Vrooman is also unequivocal in stating that this impermissible racial profiling was the main reason Dr. Lee was targeted for criminal prosecution. "I state without reservation that racial profiling was a crucial component in the FBI's identifying Dr. Lee as a suspect." Id. at 3,¶ 12.4

Vrooman has also made clear that Trulock, who was the highest ranking DOE employee overseeing all counterintelligence investigations, intentionally targeted "ethnic Chinese" because Trulock held the belief that these American citizens could not be trusted like other American citizens. As Vrooman states in his declaration, Trulock told him that "ethnic Chinese should not be allowed to work on classified projects, including nuclear weapons." Id. at 3, ¶ 13.5 Trulock made these statements while he was chief of the DOE's counterintelligence office, and when he was personally assisting the criminal investigation of Dr. Lee. Trulock's statements that American citizens who are "ethnic Chinese" should be barred from sensitive jobs at LANL are a violation of federal civil rights statutes that prohibit racial discrimination for employment.6 Trulock's statements are further corroboration that Trulock intentionally targeted Dr. Lee because he was "ethnic Chinese."

2. Former FBI Deputy Director Paul Moore has Confirmed that Dr. Lee was Targeted by the FBI Due to Racial Profiling

The FBI used the same impermissible racial profiling in its criminal investigation of Dr. Lee. The Deputy Director of the FBI responsible for all criminal counterintelligence prosecutions until 1999 confirmed that the FBI's criminal investigation of Dr. Lee was premised on the same impermissible racial bias, namely, that "Chinese-Americans" were more likely to commit espionage. The Deputy Director, Paul Moore, oversaw portions of the criminal investigation of Dr. Lee. In a televised interview with Jim Lehrer, on December 14, 1999, regarding the arrest and indictment of Dr. Lee, Deputy Director Moore admitted that racial profiling was used, but attempted to justify this racial classification as reasonable:

There is racial profiling based on ethnic background. It's done by the People's Republic of China. ... Now the FBI comes along and it applies a profile, so do other agencies who do counter intelligence investigations -- they apply a profile, and the profile is based on People's Republic of China, PRC intelligence activities. So, the FBI is committed to following the PRC's intelligence program wherever it leads. If the PRC is greatly interested in the activities of Chinese-Americans, the FBI is greatly interested in the activities of the PRC as [regards] Chinese-Americans.

The News Hour With Jim Lehrer, December 14, 1999, Tuesday, Transcript #6619, attached as Exhibit E at 12.

Moore's statements ignored the fact that senior FBI officials, in memoranda the government is withholding from Dr. Lee, had concluded long before December 1999 that it did not have credible evidence that the Taiwanese-born Dr. Lee had engaged in any improper activities with the PRC. In his videotaped interview, Moore then attempted to explain why the DOJ had indicted Dr. Lee:

So, now, the U.S. in my opinion, this signals that the U.S. is fighting back. This is the situation quite similar to the Al Capone case where they couldn't [lock] him up for his racketeering activities, so they cast about and they found something else that they could get him for.

Id. at 14.

Moore, however, later conceded that the FBI's targeting of American citizens who are "ethnic Chinese" for increased scrutiny for espionage did not make sense. In response to a statement by Nancy Choy of the National Asian Pacific-American Bar Association that targeting people for criminal investigation based on their race was improper, Moore backtracked from his earlier statement that the racial targeting of "ethnic Chinese" by the FBI was reasonable. After Ms. Choy challenged the profiling, Moore admitted that:

Ethnic profiling doesn't work for the PRC, it doesn't work for the FBI. You cannot predict someone's intelligence, somebody's espionage behavior based on his ethnic background. (Emphasis added.)

Id. at 13.

Moore did not even attempt to address the issue of how such racial targeting could even be considered for a citizen of the United States who was born in Taiwan. The Attorney General of the United States, in testimony before a Senate subcommittee, also stated that it was illogical to claim that a Taiwanese-born scientist like Dr. Lee would be predisposed to assist the PRC. "Now, if you are using that information to suggest that you are an agent of a foreign power, to whit, [sic] the PRC, the immediate question is raised, how are you that if you are clearly working with the Taiwanese Government on matters that apparently involve non-classified information?" Top Secret Hearing Before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, 106th Cong. (1999), (visited June 22, 2000) ( (statement of Attorney General Janet Reno).

3. Acting Counterintelligence Director Washington Also Confirmed Trulock's Profiling of Chinese Americans

Eugene Washington, who was DOE's acting Director of Counterintelligence in 1996, also believes that Trulock engaged in improper racial profiling. Washington confirmed in an interview with the Washington Post in August 1999, that "he told Trulock that he was unfairly singling out Lee and another Chinese American scientist." Vernon Loeb and Walter Pincus, Espionage Whistleblower Resigns: Energy's Trulock Cites Lack of Support as Debate About His Tactics Grows, Washington Post, August 24, 1999, attached as Exhibit F. Washington apparently sent Trulock a memorandum recommending that the investigation be closed and apparently questioning the DOE's focusing on Chinese Americans. This government has not produced this memorandum to Dr. Lee.

4. The Search Warrant Affidavit the DOJ Submitted to Search Dr. Lee's House Contains Additional Proof that Dr. Lee was Targeted Because He is "Ethnic Chinese."

The once-sealed affidavit in support of a search warrant to search Dr. Lee's home confirms that the government considered Dr. Lee's race to be evidence of possible espionage.7

To support the now fully discredited allegations that Dr. Lee may have committed espionage, the affidavit asserts that FBI counterintelligence experts were relying in part on the fact that Dr. Lee was "ethnic Chinese." As the affidavit states, the "supervisory Special Agent of the FBI who specializes in counterintelligence investigations regarding the People's Republic of China" who"has supervised from FBI headquarters PRC counterintelligence investigations for the past five years" explained to the investigative agent "that PRC intelligence operations virtually always target overseas ethnic Chinese." The affidavit leaves no doubt that improper racial profiling, which started with Mr. Trulock, continued to be a substantial basis for the targeting of Dr. Lee in 1999.

5. Another LANL Employee Has Also Confirmed that the DOE Engaged in Racial Profiling.

Dr. Lee has uncovered additional corroboration that DOE's counterintelligence staff used racial profiling. In an e-mail to his fellow employees, Michael Soukup wrote that the DOE pressured him to investigate Asian-Americans because of their ethnicity when he assisted the DOE in counterintelligence investigations. See Letter of Michael Soukup, dated April 12, 2000, and published in the Los Alamos National Laboratory Online Forum,

Specifically, Soukup states:

While I was assigned to NIS-9 (until mid-1998), I supported, on a part-time basis, the counterintelligence investigation into alleged Chinese espionage at Los Alamos. Based upon my experience and observations, I conclude that racial profiling of Asian-Americans as a result of the investigation indeed took place, but principally at the DOE. Further, DOE personnel directed some Los Alamos National Laboratory staff to undertake research that profiled Asians and Asian-Americans at the Laboratory. I do not believe any of us were happy with this.

Soukup's statement buttresses Vrooman's declaration and provides an additional basis to believe that discovery regarding selective prosecution could lead to additional proof of improper racial profiling.

B. Evidence that Similarly Situated Individuals Have Never Been Prosecuted Under the Atomic Energv Act or § 793(c) and (e)

It is clear that race played an impermissible role for selecting Dr. Lee for prosecution under the Atomic Energy Act and the Espionage Act, 18 U. S.C. 793. During the past fifty-two years, no American has ever been prosecuted under the Atomic Energy Act. FBI Special Agent Messemer conceded this fact at the December 13 bail hearing. See fn.1, supra. Evidence that similarly situated individuals have not been prosecuted can be found in both statements of DOJ officials concerning the practices of the DOJ in declining to prosecute similar or more egregious cases as well as specific examples of similarly situated individuals that the DOJ declined to charge.

Not only have there been no other prosecutions under the Atomic Energy Act, the DOJ had a policy of not bringing cases such as this under 793 as well. As a former DOJ official told the Washington Post a few months ago, for twenty years the Department had followed a practice of not prosecuting civilians where no evidence existed that the classified materials in question had been transferred to a third party. According to this official, "[n]o matter how gross the violation, there would be no prosecution if the agency took strong administrative action." See Walter Pincus and Vernon Loeb, U.S. Inconsistent When Secrets Are Loose, Washington Post, March 18, 2000, at Al, attached as Exhibit G. Here, not only had Dr. Lee's files not been classified at the time he allegedly mishandled them, but also the indictment does not allege that the files in question were provided to any third party and the government conceded at the detention hearing that it has no such evidence. Dr. Lee was terminated -- obviously "strong administrative action" -- and under DOJ practice there should have been "no prosecution."

Further evidence that DOJ has never prosecuted similarly situated individuals can be found in the Department's apparent blanket refusal to bring criminal charges where State Department officials have mishandled classified materials. In 1999 alone, the State Department investigated thirty-eight incidents of mishandling classified information. See id. A classified analysis by the State Department likewise detailed numerous similar breaches, in a September 1999 report written by Jacqueline Williams-Bridger. According to press reports, this classified document, which the government has not provided to the defense, details hundreds of breaches of appropriate procedures for handling classified information, including the intentional transferring of secret information, which did not result in criminal prosecution. See, e.g., S. Rep. No. 106-279, at 10-15 (2000); Vernon Loeb & Steven Mufson, State Dept. Security Has Been Lax, Audit Finds: Many Offices Not Swept For Listening Devices, Washington Post, Jan. 17, 2000, at Al, attached as Exhibit H. It is critical to note that these individuals who were not prosecuted included State Department employees who intentionally transferred secret or top secret information to unauthorized persons. By contrast, Dr. Lee did not provide information to any unauthorized person, and the material at issue had not been classified at the time of his alleged actions.

Employees of the DOE and the national weapons laboratories have a long history of unprosecuted mishandling of classified information. According to the 1999 Report by the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board entitled Science at Its Best, Security at Its Worst, attached as Exhibit I, designs of classified weapons had been left unsecured on library shelves at Los Alamos, and personnel were "found to be sending classified information to outsiders via an unclassified email system," yet no prosecutions resulted. This report also outlined dozens of examples of systemic mishandling of classified information by laboratory employees. See id. at 3-6, 15, 22. During the entire time of LANL's woeful security record, nota single employee faced charges under the Atomic Energy Act or 793. Based on discovery Dr. Lee has received to date, the DOE investigated dozens of cases of mishandling of classified information at LANL, without a single prosecution. See Pincus, U.S. Inconsistent When Secrets are Loose, Ex. G at 4.

In addition to the evidence of the government's practice of not prosecuting violations of the Atomic Energy Act and 793(c) and (e), Dr. Lee has uncovered several individuals who have not been investigated criminally, much less indicted.

The defense has been unable to locate a single reported decision dating back to the 1950s in which a civilian was prosecuted under 793(c) or (e) without any allegation that he provided classified material to an unauthorized person. Unlike the defendants in the cases that have been brought, 9 the government has not even alleged that Dr. Lee transferred national-defense information to any unauthorized recipient.

Even the defendants in reported military court cases, tried under the more stringent provisions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, were tried when the evidence showed that they actually transferred materials or allowed an unauthorized third-party to physically obtain classified information.10

Similarly situated individuals who have not transferred any national-defense information have not been prosecuted under the Espionage Act. 11 The government has never alleged that Dr. Lee transferred the materials to anyone, nor that he left them unprotected where they could be stumbled upon by anyone. In fact, the evidence presented by the government itself at the bail hearings in this case confirms that Dr. Lee password-protected any materials on which he worked.

C. Dr. Lee Meets Both Prongs of the Test Stated In Armstrong.

Dr. Lee indisputably meets both prongs of the Armstrong test, and must be granted discovery because he has submitted credible evidence that similarly-situated individuals have not been prosecuted as well as statements from government and law enforcement officials demonstrating improper motivations to prosecute Dr. Lee. Dr. Lee was selected from among more than a dozen identically situated individuals at LANL for criminal investigation in 1996 because he was "ethnic Chinese." This improper classification was employed for the next three years, and was explicitly reaffirmed in the April 9, 1999, search warrant application. The evidence of selective prosecution Dr. Lee has already uncovered far exceeds the Armstrong threshold.

Armstrong denied discovery to defendants who were charged with distributing crack cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. 841 and 846. In Armstrong, the defense offered only one hearsay affidavit that in the year Armstrong was prosecuted, the twenty-three other 841 cases handled by the Federal Public Defender in Los Angeles involved black defendants. See id. at 459. The defendants in Armstrong presented no evidence that the prosecution undertook any targeting based on race, see id., nor did the defendants make any showing that non-blacks had not been charged in other years or by one of the ninety-two other U.S. Attorney's Offices in 1991. In Armstrong, the government submitted proof that 3,500 defendants had been charged with violating 841 in the previous three years and eleven non-blacks had been charged for distributing crack cocaine. Id. at 482 n.6.

Dr. Lee's compelling showing here stands in stark contrast to the anemic showing in Armstrong. First, this Court has direct evidence in the form of a sworn declaration and a videotaped statement from government agents who assisted in the criminal investigation of Dr.Lee, which establish that a racial profiling was used to target Dr. Lee. Second, in contrast to Armstrong, where the government proved that 3,500 men and women of all races had been charged under 841 and 846 during a three-year period, Dr. Lee is the only person who has been charged under the Atomic Energy Act in the past fifty-two years. Third, Dr. Lee has provided this Court with examples of similarly situated non-Asians who have not been prosecuted under either the Atomic Energy Act or 793. The defendants in Armstrong made no showing whatsoever that similarly situated non-blacks had not been prosecuted. Equally as compelling, Dr. Lee has provided this Court with evidence that the DOJ had a policy of not prosecuting individuals similarly situated to Dr. Lee. Additionally, no case has been brought under 793 involving prosecution for information that had not been formally classified at the time of the defendant's conduct.

The evidence Dr. Lee has presented by far exceeds the threshold found sufficient to permit discovery in other cases decided under the Armstrong standard. For example, In United States v. Jones, 159 F.3d 969 (6th Cir. 1998), the Sixth Circuit overturned a District Court's decision and granted discovery under circumstances directly analogous to this case. In Jones police officers sent taunting letters to two black defendants, but not to a white defendant involved in the same conspiracy, and made a T-shirt with the black defendants' pictures, but not the white defendants. In Jones, the court found that the taunting letters and T-shirt had established a prima facie case of racial motivation on the part of the investigating officers, and had set forth "some evidence" of discriminatory effect, warranting discovery. The court found that although the defendant was unable to produce "prima facie evidence" of discriminatory effect, "some evidence" was enough when coupled with the evidence of discriminatory motivation. Id. at 977. The Jones analysis holds even greater force here, where key investigators have unequivocally stated that the DOE practiced racial profiling which led to Dr. Lee's indictment, and the lead counterintelligence official at DOE made racially-charged statements regarding the fitness of American citizens who are "ethnic Chinese" to work on nuclear weapons programs. Dr. Lee has presented more than "some evidence" of discriminatory effect. Unlike the defendant in Jones who could not show that others were not prosecuted, Dr. Lee has shown that no one else has ever been prosecuted under the Atomic Energy Act provisions at issue in this case, nor has anyone else been prosecuted under 793 for mishandling information that had not been formally classified and that had not been furnished to any unauthorized person.

Similarly, in United States v. Tuitt, 1999 WL 791927 (D.Mass. 1999), the trial court ordered that the defendant be provided discovery under far less compelling circumstances. In Tuitt, the defendant's attorney compared four counties within the judicial district over a four-month period and found a statistically significant difference between the crack cocaine prosecutions brought in federal court and the crack cocaine prosecutions brought in state court. See id. at *4. Tuitt held that this showing was enough to meet the Armstrong standard where "Defendant is simply attempting to gain discovery so that he can more adequately determine whether a selective prosecution claim might indeed be viable." Id. at * 11. Again Dr. Lee far surpasses the threshold met by the Tuitt defendant. Rather than four months, Dr. Lee's attorneys examined reported cases covering fifty years, and rather than four counties, the search covered fifty states, without finding a single other reported case of prosecution under the Atomic Energy Act.

Similarly, in United States v. Glover, 43 F. Supp. 2d 1217 (D. Kan. 1999), the court granted discovery on a selective prosecution claim regarding imposition of the death penalty where the defense provided far less evidence on either prong of the Armstrong test. In Glover, the defendant presented some statistical evidence that over a three-and-one-half-year period, "the Attorney General authorized a greater number of black defendants for death-penalty prosecution than white defendants." Id. at 1234. The court found that this evidence, coupled with evidence that two other similarly-situated defendants were not prosecuted in federal court, was enough to permit discovery. See id. Rather than the mere statistical inference found sufficient in Glover, Dr. Lee has presented credible evidence in the form of specific statements made by investigators in this case that race was a factor in selecting Dr. Lee for prosecution. Moreover, he has presented some evidence of not two, but several individuals mishandling classified information without facing criminal charges of any kind, much less a potential life sentence.


Dr. Lee has presented compelling evidence the government singled him out for prosecution because of his race and refused to prosecute similarly situated individuals. Dr. Lee is entitled to the information the government is withholding from him -- information that will prove this is an egregious example of selective prosecution in violation of Dr. Lee's rights under the United States Constitution.

This Court should grant this motion and order the government to provide Dr. Lee the requested discovery materials, as set forth in Exhibit A.