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Prosecutors argue for “unprecedented” court secrecy

In an odd addendum to the corruption case of (now former) Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, prosecutors are arguing that once the executive branch says something is classified, courts are virtually powerless to review or disagree.

The arguments are in the case of Thomas Kontogiannis, a New York financier who admitted to one charge of laundering bribe money for former Rep. Cunningham.

While portions of the case remain secret, a batch of previously sealed court filings was released this week that show the government arguing what media law experts said was an astounding position….

In essence, prosecutors argued that once the executive branch says something is classified, courts are virtually powerless to review or disagree. That is true, they argued, even when the information is part of court records – which historically have been considered open under the First Amendment.

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