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Criminal Resource Manual

1562. Obstruction Of The Secret Service -- 18 U.S.C. § 3056(d)

Section 3056(d) of Title 18 prohibits knowingly and willfully obstructing, resisting, or interfering with a Federal law enforcement agent who is engaged in protective functions. It is a felony under 18 U.S.C. §  111 forcibly to assault, resist, oppose, impede, intimidate, or interfere with Federal law enforcement officers, including Secret Service agents, in the performance of their duties. Unlike 18 U.S.C. § 111, 18 U.S.C. §  3056(d) appears to require proof of knowledge of the victim's official status. Compare the similar distinction drawn between 18 U.S.C. § 111 and 26 U.S.C. §  7212 in United States v. Rybicki, 403 F.2d 599 (6th Cir. 1968). In prosecutions under 18 U.S.C. § 3056, it is not necessary to show that the defendant used force against a Federal law enforcement agent. It would suffice to show that the defendant's willful action constituted an obstruction or resistance to or interference with, the performance of the protective duties of a Federal law enforcement agent. See S. Rep. No. 1252, 91st Cong., 2d Sess. 14 (1970). This statute authorizes Secret Service agents to arrest persons who engage in activities which could nullify or reduce the effectiveness of security precautions taken by the Secret Service, without requiring proof that such interference was forcible or aggressive. Section 3056(d) applies only to those protective functions enumerated therein.

[cited in USAM 9-65.500]