In Re Sealed Case No. 99-3091
United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
192 F.3d 995 (1999)
While President Clinton was being tried for impeachment, a New York Times article reported that some prosecutors in the Office of Independent Counsel (OIC) thought that Clinton would likely be indicted on perjury charges shortly after the impeachment trial. The Office of the President and President Clinton moved for an order to show cause why OIC should not be held in contempt for violating Rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Rule 6(e) prohibits jurors, the prosecutor, and the court reporter from disclosing matters that occur before the grand jury. The OIC argued that the information in the article did not violate Rule 6(e) because it did not disclose any matter occurring before a grand jury. The court held that the article was a prima facie violation of Rule 6(e). It ordered the OIC and Charles Bakaly, an OIC attorney who talked to the article’s author, to show cause why they should not be held in civil contempt. The OIC and Bakaly requested that the court certify the issue of Rule 6(e)’s scope for interlocutory appeal. The court denied the request and appointed the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) as prosecutor against Bakaly and OIC. The OIC filed an emergency motion to vacate the court order appointing DOJ as prosecutor of the contempt charges against it.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Per Curiam)
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