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Criminal Resource Manual

2051. May 5, 1995, Memorandum From Deputy Atty General Concerning Focal Points For Initial Contacts With Intelligence Community In Criminal Cases


 FROM:Jamie S. Gorelick         Deputy Attorney General

RE: Focal Points For Initial Contacts With Intelligence Community In Criminal Cases

As you recall, in my memorandum dated September 21, 1994, I stressed to all U.S. Attorneys the requirement of notice to and consultation with the Criminal Division, either the Internal Security Section (ISS)[FN1] or the Office of International Affairs, when national security issues arise during a criminal investigation or prosecution. An issue of equal importance is that of how an AUSA should initiate contact with the Intelligence Community when necessary in criminal investigations or prosecutions that may have an impact on both law enforcement and intelligence interests, in areas such as terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and international aspects of narcotics trafficking. The two communities routinely communicate with each other through operational and headquarters links; nevertheless, there are occasions --- especially as criminal investigations mature into prosecutions -- on which agencies of the Intelligence Community need to communicate with Federal prosecutors, or vice versa. This memorandum addresses this more limited, but extremely important, category of communications.

  1. FN1. Presently pending approval of Congress is a proposed reorganization of the Criminal Division. Under that plan, the ISS will be replaced by the National Security Section. Once the effective date of that change is published, all references herein to the ISS should thereafter be construed as referring to the new National Security Section.

It has been the experience of both the Law Enforcement Community and the Intelligence Community that communications between prosecutors and agencies of the Intelligence Community are best initiated through offices familiar with the substantive and procedural issues likely to arise. To that end, I have requested that the Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, designate the offices within that Division through which prosecutors should seek to contact the Intelligence Community and through which, in turn, the Intelligence Community should seek to contact prosecutors.

Accordingly, consistent with the designation of the Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, in each case in which a U.S. Attorney's Office wishes to initiate contact with an agency of the Intelligence Community, [FN2] that Office's National Security Coordinator must call the Chief of the ISS. That office, in turn, will arrange for necessary initial contacts with appropriate representatives of the relevant Intelligence Community agencies. Once that initial contact occurs, the prosecutor need not direct each routine communication with the IC agency through the Criminal Division focal point, although the latter will, of course, be available to continue to provide assistance as matters develop.

  1. FN2. The intelligence community includes the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office. It also includes the intelligence components of the Department of State, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Treasury, Department of Energy and the respective military services.

I am also requesting that the heads of the agencies of the Intelligence Community ensure that their personnel initiate contacts with prosecutors through the same office in the Criminal Division. If your staffs are initially contacted by Intelligence Community personnel other than through this office or through senior personnel of the Criminal Division, please advise the Chief of the ISS.

I am confident that the foregoing procedures will promote more efficient coordination between the two communities and will reduce the difficulties that sometimes attend involvement of both the Law Enforcement Community and the Intelligence Community in matters related to criminal investigations and prosecutions. Accordingly, I request that you take the necessary steps to ensure that your prosecutors are aware of and in compliance with these procedures.

 cc:  Jo Ann Harris      Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division       Carol DiBattiste      Director, EOUSA 

[cited in USAM 9-90.100]