Washington — Today, 21RepublicanMembers of Congress led by Rep. John Rose (TN-06) sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Way urging the office of the U.S. Attorney General and Federal Bureau of Investigation to launch a criminal investigation for a violation of Title 18 section 2071 in United States Codeinto the potential illegal leaking of a draft Supreme Court opinion written by Associate Justice Samuel Alito.
Because this draft opinion was leaked to the media without authorization, the Republican Members of Congress who have signed this letter believe an investigation into a potential violation of Title 18 Section 2071 of United States Code is warranted. Title 18 Section 2071 of United States Code states (emphasis added):
a) Whoever willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys, or attempts to do so, or, with intent to do so takes and carries away any record, proceeding, map, book, paper, document, or other thing, filed or deposited with any clerk or officer of any court of the United States, or in any public office, or with any judicial or public officer of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
(b) Whoever, having the custody of any such record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing, willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States. As used in this subsection, the term “office” does not include the office held by any person as a retired officer of the Armed Forces of the United States.
“I have been an attorney for nearly 30 years, and this leak of a draft document tied to one of the most consequential cases in the history of the Supreme Court of the United States is the most radical and unethical action I have ever seen in the legal arena,” said Rose. “Attorney General Garland and FBI Director Ray must immediately open a criminal investigation into whether the perpetrator of the leak violated the law. Anyone attempting to criminally undermine the division of power in our government should be held accountable.”
Representatives Chuck Fleischmann (TN), Jefferson Van Drew (NJ), Greg Murphy (NC), Stephanie Bice (OK), Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (TX), Bill Johnson (OH), David Rouzer (NC), Jeff Duncan (SC), John R. Moolenaar (MI), Billy Long (MO), Lisa McClain (MI), Vicky Hartzler (MO), Diana Harshbarger (TN), Andy Harris, M.D. (MD), Alex Mooney (WV), Yvette Herrell (NM), Eric A. “Rick” Crawford (AR), Byron Donalds (FL), Kevin Hern (OK), Thomas P. Tiffany (WI) and Marry E. Miller (IL) joined Representative Rose in sending the letter.