View Full Version : "Under Oath" Doesn't Matter So Much??

06-14-2007, 01:30 AM
This statute makes it a crime to lie during an investigation regardless of whether or not you are under oath...

I was not aware...

This is the Republican's justification for not putting WH witnesses under oath during the election tampering hearings...


USC Title 18, Section 1001
This statute generally prohibits lying to or concealing information from a federal official. The purpose of 18 U.S.C. 1001 is to "punish those who render positive false statements designed to pervert or undermine functions of governmental departments and agencies." United States v Harrison (1985).

The statute spells out this purpose in subsection (a), which states:

1001. Statements or entries generally
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully--
(1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;
(2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or
(3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry...
Even constitutionally explicit Fifth Amendment privileges do not exonerate affirmative false statements. United States v. Wong, 431 U.S.C. 174, 178, 52 L. Ed. 2d 231, 97 S. Ct. 1823 (1977). As the Court in Wong said, "Our legal system provides methods for challenging the Government's right to ask questions -- lying is not one of them." Id., at 180, quoting Bryson v. United States, 396 U.S. 64, 72, 24 L. Ed. 2d 264, 90 S. Ct. 355 (1969).

However, some federal courts have said that 1001 does not to apply to in-court statements. Courts have largely relied on the fact that perjury statutes cover in-court statements, and have stated that the conventions of courtroom advocacy might create many ambiguous, borderline cases in which application of 1001 could harm other important interests, such as rights of the criminal defendant. United States v. North, 708 F. Supp. 380