X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
FITZGERALD DIDN’T HAVE TO INDICT TO SUCCEED To the editor: In the concluding paragraph of his Oct. 24 article on the CIA leak investigation ( “Fitzgerald’s Arsenal: An Indictment Primer,” Page 15), reporter Jason McLure says that if special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald declines to indict anyone, it will be an admission that his lengthy and expensive investigation “was all for naught.” This is an unfortunate and mistaken claim. In white-collar cases — unlike violent crime, drugs, or other areas — a major purpose of the grand jury investigation can be to determine whether a crime was committed at all. There may be false documents, inconsistent statements, or leaked classified information, but it may be not at all clear whether anyone acted with the requisite criminal intent. When white-collar prosecutors conduct a thorough grand jury investigation and conclude that no criminal charges are appropriate, they have done their job. The public interest is served because potentially suspicious facts have been carefully examined to determine whether, in fact, there was any criminal conduct. Career prosecutors like Fitzgerald understand that this is part of their role. Comments such as McLure’s suggest that white-collar prosecutors have somehow failed if they do a thorough investigation and decide indictments are not appropriate. Unfortunately, this only increases the perceived pressures on prosecutors in a big case to bring some kind of charges, no matter how weak or tangential, in order to avoid having their labors characterized as “all for naught.” I’m confident that Fitzgerald is immune to any such pressures, but past experience, particularly under the old independent counsel statute, suggests that others may not be. Randall Eliason Professorial Lecturer in Law George Washington University Law School Washington, D.C. Eliason is a former chief of the public corruption/government fraud section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.