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1733

Scope of 18 U.S.C. § 1513

Section 1513 of Title 18 embraces two types of conduct heretofore beyond the purview of Federal law. First, the statute reaches threats of retaliation. Second, it reaches attempts to retaliate. Section 1513 complements 18 U.S.C. § 1512 by proscribing conduct amounting to retaliation for participation in Federal legislative, administrative, or judicial proceedings or for the communication of information to Federal law enforcement officers. With the exception of the omnibus clauses of §§ 1503 and 1505, the express prohibitions against retaliating against witnesses, parties, and informants contained in former 18 U.S.C. §§ 1503, 1505, and 1510 are now in 18 U.S.C. § 1513(a) and (b).

The structure of 18 U.S.C. § 1513 is similar to that of 18 U.S.C. § 1512. Section 1513, like § 1512, eliminates ambiguity about the class of people protected. Although the former law protected witnesses and parties, it was unclear whether that law reached retaliation against third parties (for example, the spouse of a witness) in response to the participation of the principal party in a Federal proceeding. Section 1513 plainly covers such conduct even though the caption of the provision may indicate otherwise. See 128 Cong. Rec. H8204 (daily ed. Sept. 30, 1982). Section 1513, like 18 U.S.C. § 1512, expands the class of informants protected by Federal law. It also confers extraterritorial Federal jurisdiction over the offenses cited in the provision. See 18 U.S.C. § 1512(g).

[cited in USAM 9-69.100]