Wednesday, August 14, 2013

US v. Ermoian, No. 11-10124 (8-14-13)(O'Scannlain with Goodwin and N. Smith).

Word leaked out about an ongoing FBI investigation of the Hell's Angels motorcycle club attempts to establish a chapter in Modesto, California.  The leaks were traced to the defendant, and he was charged and convicted of obstruction of justice under 18 U.S.C. ยง 1512.  The 9th held that the obstruction was during an investigation, and not during an "official proceeding." Thus, it falls outside the scope of the statute.  An official proceeding has to be a convened action or hearing or  determination, and not an investigation.  Congress limited the reach.


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