Domenici In Legal Trouble?

Brian Zick

On Thursday, Mike Gallagher for the Albuquerque Journal reported: U.S. Attorney David Iglesias on Wednesday blamed his firing on failure by his office to bring indictments in the courthouse investigation before the November elections, saying he felt that two members of Congress pressured him to do so. After his final news conference as U.S. attorney, he confirmed to the Journal that two members of the New Mexico delegation contacted him before the election and asked when indictments would be handed up by a federal grand jury. Today, David Kurtz at TPM reports that GOP Senator Pete "Pajamas" Domenici has fessed up to calling Iglesias, in an official statement which says in part: "I asked Mr. Iglesias if he could tell me what was going on in that investigation" Domenici's own description of the exchange appears to be an explicit solicitation of Iglesias to violate the law. Rule 6(e)(2) forbids prosecutors to disclose information about grand jury investigations, the unauthorized disclosure of grand jury information being subject to prosecution for criminal contempt under 18 U.S.C. § 401(3). The unauthorized disclosure of grand jury information can also be punished under other criminal statutes, as well as pursuant to a district court's contempt powers, among them being prosecution for the theft of government property (tangible and intangible).

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