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Gov't Drops Choi, Pietrangelo Case

Gov't Drops Choi, Pietrangelo Case

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Before the trial could even begin, charges were dropped Wednesday against Lt. Dan Choi and Capt. Jim Pietrangelo for their involvement in "don't ask, don't tell" protest at the White House.

"Victory for truth today!" Choi tweeted around 10:30 a.m. "Government drops case against us."

Choi and Pietrangelo were scheduled to stand trial in D.C. superior court for chaining themselves to the White House gate in March and April in protest of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

The men were facing a nonjury trial on two counts of failure to obey a lawful order. The trial was scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. in the courtroom in Washington, D.C.

"Whatever the motivation and no matter at who's direction, this is certainly some kind of vindication," Richard Socarides, former senior adviser on LGBT issues to Pres Bill Clinton, told The Advocate.

Prosecutor Christine Chang declined to comment on why the case was dropped, but a White House spokesperson said the White House did not have any role in the decision of the Justice Department to drop the charges.

Choi told the Associated Press he thinks Obama administration officials didn't want to draw attention to the policy.

Story developing...

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