Protection of Government Processes"Official
Proceeding" Requirement18 U.S.C. § 1512
Congress limits the coverage of § 1512 to official proceedings.
U.S.C. § 1515(a)(1) defines "official proceeding" as:|
- a proceeding before a judge or court of the United States, a United
magistrate, a bankruptcy judge, a judge of the United States Tax Court, a
trial judge of the Tax Court, a judge of the United States Claims Court, or
Federal grand jury;
- a proceeding before the Congress; or
- a proceeding before a Federal Government agency which is authorized
- a proceeding involving the business of insurance whose activities
interstate commerce before any insurance regulatory official or agency or
or examiner appointed by such official or agency to examine the affairs of
person engaged in the business of insurance whose activities affect
This definition is in large part, a restatement of the judicial
interpretation of the word "proceeding" in §§ 1503 and 1505.
case law interpreting these provisions also required that the proceeding had
be pending. See this Manual at 1722
1727. 18 U.S.C. § 1512 does away with the
proceeding requirement for judicial matters and matters within the
of Congress and Federal agencies. In the words of § 1512, "an official
proceeding need not be pending or about to be instituted at the time of the
offense." 18 U.S.C. § 1512(e)(1). See United States v.
Scaife, 749 F.2d 338 (6th Cir. 1984). See also United States
Shively, 927 F.2d 804 (5th Cir. 1991).
[cited in USAM 9-69.100]