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1739

Offenses Related to Obstruction of Justice Offenses

Conduct within the purview of the obstruction of justice statutes may also violate one or more of the following statutes:

  1. 18 U.S.C. §§ 1111, 1112, and 1114--interference with, assaults on, or killing of Federal judges and prosecutors, (overlap with 18 U.S.C. §§  1503, 1512, and 1513). See United States v. Houlihan, 937 F. Supp. 75, 76 (D. Mass. 1996).

  2. 18 U.S.C. § 201(a), (b) and (c)--bribery of Federal public officials and witnesses (overlap with 18 U.S.C. §§ 1503 and 1505 (public officials) and 18 U.S.C. § 1512 (witness)). Subsection (e) of this statute provides that the offenses and penalties in this section are separate from and in addition to those in 18 U.S.C. §§ 1503, 1504, and 1505. See United States v. DeAlesandro, 361 F.2d 694, 699-700 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 385 U.S. 842 (1966). [NOTE: Subsection (k) as cited in DeAlesandro was redesignated as subsection (e), Pub. L. No. 99-646, § 46(k), 100 Stat. 3604 (amended 1986).]

  3. 18 U.S.C. § 241--conspiracy to injure or intimidate any citizen on account of his or her exercise or possibility of exercise of Federal right (overlap with 18 U.S.C. §§ 1503, 1510, 1512, and 1513). Under 18 U.S.C. § 241, it is a Federal offense to conspire to injure a citizen for having exercised a Federal right or to conspire to intimidate a citizen from exercising a Federal right. One such right is the right to be a witness in a Federal court, United States v. Dinome, 954 F.2d 839, 845 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 506 U.S. 830 (1992); United States v. Thevis, 665 F.2d 616, 626 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 456 U.S. 1008, and cert. denied, 458 U.S. 1109, and cert. denied, 459 U.S. 825 (1982); or other Federal proceeding, United States v. Smith, 623 F.2d 627, 629 (9th Cir. 1980). "So is the right to inform Federal officials of violations of Federal laws." Id.

  4. 18 U.S.C. § 245(b)(1)(D), (2)(D), (4)(A), and (5)--intimidating or retaliating against individuals on account of their serving or possibly serving as a grand or petit juror in a Federal court (overlap with 18 U.S.C. §  1503) or on account of their serving or possibly serving as a grand or petit juror in a state court if the conduct is motivated by the race, color, religion, or national origin of the victim.

  5. 18 U.S.C. §§ 371 and 372--conspiracies to commit any offense against the United States, or to prevent or retaliate in response to the lawful discharge of the duties of Federal officers (overlap with 18 U.S.C. §§  1503, 1505, 1510, 1512, and 1513). see generally United States v. Frankhauser, 80 F.3d 641, 653 (1st Cir. 1996) (conspiracy to persuade witness to destroy or conceal evidence for use in an official proceeding); United States v. Fullbright, 69 F.3d 1468, 1472 (9th Cir. 1995) (conspiracy to mail arrest warrants to a United States Bankruptcy Judge); United States v. Mullins, 22 F.3d 1365, 1367 (6th Cir. 1994) (conspiracy to alter flight log books of police officers to prevent information from reaching the grand jury); United States v. Jeter, 775 F.2d 670, 683 (5th Cir. 1985) (conspiracy to obtain secret grand jury information), cert. denied, 475 U.S. 1142 (1986).

  6. 18 U.S.C. § 401--contempt of court (overlaps with 18 U.S.C. §  1503). Contemptuous conduct in the presence of the court is specifically covered by 18 U.S.C. § 401; however, such conduct may also satisfy the elements of 18 U.S.C. § 1503. In that situation, a defendant may be charged under 18 U.S.C. § 1503 even though the offense conduct occurred in the presence of the court. See, e.g., United States v. Jones, 663 F.2d 567, 569 (5th Cir. 1981) (threat directed at judge and prosecutor).

  7. 18 U.S.C. § 1001--false statements and concealment of material facts before Federal departments and agencies (overlap with 18 U.S.C. §  1505).

  8. 18 U.S.C. §§ 1621 to 1623--perjury, subornation of perjury, and false declarations before grand juries and courts (overlap with 18 U.S.C. §§ 1503, 1505, and 1512). It has been held by at least one court that simple perjury, the assertion of a false affirmative statement by an individual testifying under oath, is not an obstruction of justice under the omnibus clause of 18 U.S.C. § 1503. See United States v. Faudman, 640 F.2d 20, 23 (6th Cir. 1981); United States v. Essex, 407 F.2d 214, 218 (6th Cir. 1969). But see United States v. Griffin, 589 F.2d 200, 203, 204 (5th Cir.) (dicta), cert. denied, 444 U.S. 825 (1979); cf. Smith v. United States, 234 F.2d 385 (5th Cir. 1956) (submission of false affidavits of others violates omnibus clause).
    However, if simple perjury is accompanied by other obstructive, truth-suppressing acts, an omnibus clause offense may exist. In United States v. Alo, 439 F.2d 751 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 404 U.S. 850 (1971), the court held that evasive testimony, such as a false denial of knowledge or memory, was included within the coverage of the omnibus clause of 18 U.S.C. §  1505. The court rejected the argument that the clause proscribed only those efforts that interfered with other witnesses or documentary evidence. Id. at 754.
    This reasoning applies as well to the omnibus clause of 18 U.S.C. §  1503. Griffin, 589 F.2d at 203-05 (false denial of knowledge and memory before grand jury); United States v. Cohn, 452 F.2d 881, 883-84 (2d Cir. 1971) (same), cert. denied, 405 U.S. 975 (1972).
    Suborning perjury, 18 U.S.C. § 1622, may also be an 18 U.S.C. §  1503 omnibus clause offense. See Griffin, 589 F.2d at 203 (construing United States v. Partin, 552 F.2d 621, 630-31 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 434 U.S. 903 (1977); Catrino v. United States, 176 F.2d 884, 886-87 (9th Cir. 1949). While section 1622 requires proof that perjury was in fact committed, see, e.g., United States v. Brumley, 560 F.2d 1268, 1278 n.5 (5th Cir. 1977), the omnibus clause of section 1503 does not and thus may be used to prosecute attempts to suborn perjury. See Catrino, 176 F.2d at 886-87.

  9. 26 U.S.C. § 7212--interference with or endeavors to interfere with the due administration of the Internal Revenue laws (overlap with 18 U.S.C. §  1505).

[cited in USAM 9-69.100]