Representative John Rose (R-TN-06) and 21 other House Republicans called for a criminal investigation into the leak of a draft opinion from the Supreme Court.
The opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, signaled the Court may overturn Roe v. Wade, a landmark case that detailed the constitutional right for abortions.
While the draft is not a final ruling, the leak has caused widespread anger and criticism among those who support the previous ruling.
“I have been an attorney for nearly 30 years and this leak of a draft document tied to one of the most consequential cases in the history of the Supreme Court of the United States is the most radical and unethical action I have ever seen in the legal arena,” said Rep. Rose. “Attorney General Garland and FBI Director Ray must immediately open a criminal investigation into whether the perpetrator of the leak violated the law. Anyone attempting to criminally undermine the division of power in our government should be held accountable.”
In the letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, the group argued that the individual who leaked the document may have violated Title 18 Section 2071 of United States Code:
a) Whoever willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys, or attempts to do so, or, with intent to do so takes and carries away any record, proceeding, map, book, paper, document, or other thing, filed or deposited with any clerk or officer of any court of the United States, or in any public office, or with any judicial or public officer of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
(b) Whoever, having the custody of any such record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing, willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States. As used in this subsection, the term “office” does not include the office held by any person as a retired officer of the Armed Forces of the United States.
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has ordered a separate investigation into the matter.
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