If the Boston United States Attorney’s office is to be taken seriously when it engages in prosecuting people for minor crimes like obstruction of justice or lying to an FBI agent then it should do something about the continuing leaks that emanate from its grand jury.
It seems to me that whoever in its office is undermining the grand jury process should be found out and brought before the court and charged with contempt..
Rule 6 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure provides: “Unless these rules provide otherwise, the following persons must not disclose a matter occurring before the grand jury: (i) a grand juror;(ii) an interpreter;(iii) a court reporter;(iv) an operator of a recording device;(v) a person who transcribes recorded testimony;(vi) an attorney for the government;
The Rule goes on to provide: “A knowing violation of Rule 6, or of any guidelines jointly issued by the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence under Rule 6, may be punished as a contempt of court.”
We know the person who has been favored in the past by the grand jury leaker. It is Shelley Murphy at the Boston Globe. Back in 2002 Billy Bulger was called to testify before a Congressional Committee that had been set up to investigate the FBI but somehow turned its investigation onto Billy. He was scheduled to testify on December 6. On December 3 on page one Murphy quoted from a transcript of a secret grand jury hearing in which Billy was called to testify. Her purpose and that of the leaker was to diminish Billy in the eyes of the committee. It was clear someone had given her that transcript in violation of Rule 6. She had no right to have it. No investigation resulted. The Boston U.S. attorney’s office showed no concern over this if not outright pleasure.
Now again we see that a violation of Rule 6 has taken place. Shelley Murphy again is the favored one to whom the secret information has been leaked. She writes: “The longtime girlfriend of James “Whitey” Bulger faces more time in prison — possibly as much as a year — for refusing to cooperate with a federal grand jury in Boston that is trying to track the convicted gangster’s hidden assets, according to two people familiar with the investigation.” She tells us, “Grand jury proceedings are secret and the new charge against Greig remains sealed.” That hardly seems to be the case since she knows all about them.
Apparently the U.S. Attorney is seeking to hold Catherine Greig in contempt for refusing to testify before the grand jury. The beating up of Greig continues. She received 8 years in prison for being the girl friend of Whitey Bulger while he was on the lam. She had no criminal record to that time. There had been no showing she knew of or was implicated in any of his crimes. Now the government through this contempt charge hopes to have her serve longer time. This is starting to amount to cruel and unusual punishment.
This is the same government that lets Jeffrey Epstein and his friends take the innocence from young girls and makes deals not to prosecute all the people who helped Epstein when he was involved in what some suggest is white slave trafficking. No grand jury for Epstein, no grand jury for his friends to be called into, no leaks of the proceedings.
Greig’s sentence in the first place was outrageous being three times more than the sentencing guideline. The judge who imposed it let victims of Whitey come into court and insult her. It was a federal circus and it is going to start up again. The dignity of the office is again on the line with these leaks.
No witness can count on the Boston U.S. Attorney office protecting the secrecy of testimony. I suggest that it is of cardinal importance that the U.S. Attorney’s office act to restore the faith in the people that their testimony will be held in secret. It must act to stop the leaks. If it refuses, then the judges should act.
This is easy to do. The person who received the leak has not committed a crime but knows the identity of the leaker. Call that person before a grand jury and compel the person’s testimony as to the identity of the people breaching the grand jury’s secrecy. Then, if there is to be any contempt charges brought, they be brought against the person or persons leaking this secret information as provided by Rule 6.
When the agency that is supposed to enforce the law violates it or care less if it is violated then the respect for the law only diminishes. Sadly, that has become the legacy of the Boston U.S. Attorney’s office. Unfortunately, the judges sitting in Boston also seem not to be bothered by the continuing violations. I’d have thought they’d have more concern over their court’s reputation.