Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy identified multiple crimes the person who leaked a draft of the Supreme Court decision in the Mississippi abortion case Dobbs v. Jackson could face.
Politico reported, according to a draft majority opinion written in early February by Justice Samuel Alito, the court plans to strike down the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and return power to the states to determine laws regarding abortion.
The Supreme Court issues most of its high profile decisions at the end of the term in late June or early July.
Many think the leak was designed to pressure at least one justice to change his or her vote in order to uphold Roe.
Appearing on the Fox News program “Outnumbered” on Tuesday, McCarthy said there are multiple crimes with which the leaker could be charged.
“These are government records. All the people who work at the Supreme Court, they’re not private actors. They’re all government officials: the justices, the clerks who work for them, their staff, support staff at the court,” McCarthy said.
“The materials they work with are government records. If you embezzle a government record, that’s a federal crime,” he continued.
“If you convert it to your own use, that’s a federal crime. If you obstruct a judicial proceeding, it’s a federal crime,” McCarthy said.
The former U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York further noted that the Supreme Court has interpreted committing fraud against the government broadly.
“Anything you do in the way of corrupt or deceptive practices that undermine government functions can be prosecuted as a conspiracy to defraud the government,” McCarthy said.
“So there’s a lot of bases for criminal investigation here, and it’s very important that they get on it and do it, because the thing with these fraud cases or these leak cases is if you don’t get on it right at the beginning, the information gets too diffuse, and it gets very hard to nail down where the leak was,” he concluded.
If this story is true, the Court should issue its opinion right away. Otherwise the disgraceful leak wins. I would say that if my side lost. If we lose the integrity of the Court’s process, we lose the Court. That should be intolerable to all of us who live the country.
— Andy McCarthy (@AndrewCMcCarthy) May 3, 2022
In a Tuesday news release, the Supreme Court confirmed authenticity of the draft opinion, and Chief Justice John Roberts announced he has directed the Marshal of the Court to launch an investigation into the source of the leak.
“Justices circulate draft opinions internally as a routine and essential part of the Court’s confidential deliberative work,” the news release said.
JUSTICE ROBERTS STATEMENT: Chief Justice John Roberts says the leak of the opinion draft that suggested the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade is a “betrayal” that “intended to undermine the integrity” of the Court https://t.co/QKRWMHTIq1 pic.twitter.com/sN1uMz2m8v
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 3, 2022
Roberts stated, “To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the Court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed. The work of the Court will not be affected in any way.”
“This was a singular and egregious breach of that trust that is an affront to the Court and the community of public servants who work here,” he added.