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United States v. Ehrlichman

United States District Court for the District of Columbia
376 F. Supp. 29 (1974)


Five federal agents (defendants) broke into Dr. Lewis Fielding’s (plaintiff) office to obtain medical records of a patient, Daniel Ellsberg, who was under federal indictment for revealing top-secret information at the time. The agents did not have a warrant and were later indicted for conspiring to violate Dr. Fielding’s Fourth Amendment rights. Before the trial began, the defendants moved for permission to gain discovery of national security information in order to establish that there was presidential authorization for their actions or, in the alternative, that enough national security information was available to the defendants at the time that allowed them to form a good-faith, reasonable belief that the break-in was both valid and in the interests of national security. The agents also moved for dismissal of the case based on the danger of exposing national security information.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Gesell, J.)

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