Friday, April 16, 2010

Former NSA Senior Executive Charged

A DOJ Press Release tells of a 10-count Indictment (Main Justice Blog has Indictment here) against a former senior National Security Agency official.  The charges include "the willful retention of classified information, obstruction of justice and making false statements."  The allegations are extremely serious - although he is not charged with leaking information, but rather the retention of national security information and then "short-cut" after the events type of offenses. 

The immediate question one has relates to motive.  If the allegations are true, why would a senior NSA official do this? There are no allegations of money being received by this individual.  Nor are there any allegations of political power as a motivation. The best one sees in this Indictment is a reference to a person A, a former congressional staffer, and Reporter A, from an unknown newspaper. With respect to Person A, the indictment states that the accused "had a self-described 'close, emotional friendship' and 'different and special' relationship with Person A that included the unauthorized disclosure of unclassified and classified information to Person A . . ."

So what was the motive for releasing this information to the press, if it in fact happened?  And was it a good motive?  This is definitely a case to follow.

See also Scott Shane, NYTimes, N.S.A. Official Facing Charges In Leaks Case

(esp)

April 16, 2010 in Prosecutions | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

In the News & Around the Blogosphere

Tax, Tax, Tax

Monday, April 12, 2010

New Scholarship

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Justice Stevens on White Collar Issues

As everyone remarks on the forthcoming retirement of Justice Stevens from the Supreme Court bench, I have to include mention of two white collar crime decisions that he authored.  They show the breadth of his jurisprudence. 

First in 1992, he wrote the majority decision in Evans v. United States.  This Hobbs Act case came in the aftermath of the McCormick decision, a case that emphasized the need for a quid pro quo in extortion cases. Justice Stevens, in Evans, narrowed this doctrine finding that an affirmative act of inducement was not necessary. This one went to the prosecution.

In 2000, he authored the Court's decision in United States v. Hubbell. In this case Justice Stevens describes the "foregone conclusion" standard, holding it applicable to acts of production. With 13,120 pages of documents, he noted that "[t]he government cannot cure this deficiency through the overbroad argument that a businessman such as respondent will always possess general business and tax records that fall within the broad categories described in this subpoena."  This one went to the defense.

Justice Stevens will leave the Court with many noteworthy decisions that affect white collar cases, such as those in the sentencing sphere.  And his votes, including those in which he concurred or dissented are equally noted. We can hope that his replacement will offer the care and understanding to legal doctrine that he has provided.

(esp)

April 11, 2010 in Judicial Opinions | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)