The crime of bribery (in violation of § 201(b)) and the crime of accepting a gratuity (in violation of § 201(c)) require proof of the same basic elements: In general terms, these are the following:
- 1. A public official;
2. A thing of value;
3. A request or receipt by the official, or an offer or promise to the official, of that thing of value;
4. For the benefit of the official or (in the case of section 201(b) bribery) of some other person or entity);
5. With the requisite connection to an official act;
6. With the requisite intent.
The differences between the two sections (§ 201(b) and § 201(c)) are found in the details of these common features. For purposes of comparison, the chart Criminal Resource Manual 2043 sets out the elements in parallel form, for the offenses of accepting a bribe and accepting a gratuity. This should be helpful in seeing exactly how the offenses differ and how they are similar. The differences are marked either by brackets (for features that are found in only one of the two sections) or by bold text (to highlight the key distinction in how the sections specify the required connection between the thing of value and the official act). The corresponding offenses of giving a bribe and giving a gratuity involve the same components, from the opposite perspective.
[updated November 1998] [cited in JM 9-85.101]