Government's position that the defendant could be convicted of obstruction even where theallegedly withheld material had no possible consequence to the asserted grand jury was wrong.Defendant argued that to establish the requisite nexus for a conviction of obstruction of justice,the government must prove that the natural and probable effect of the defendant's alleged act wasinterference with the "due determination of justice." (Doc. 512, Transcript at 120.)In its oral reasons for denying the motion, the Court first noted that materiality is not anelement of the crime of obstruction of justice pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(1).
at 121.The Court also held that the nexus required to be proven for obstruction "requires only that thedeletion bears some relation in time, causation or logic to the judicial proceeding."
at 121.In reaching that determination, this Court commented on
United States v. Aguilar
, 115S.Ct. 2357, 2361 (1995), and stated:the Supreme Court examined the scope of the intent requirement under theOmnibus Clause of 18 U.S.C. §1503 which, prohibits “corruptly . . .influenc[ing], obstruct[ing], or imped[ing] or endeavor[ing] to influence,obstruct, or impede, the due administration of justice.” The Supreme Courtapproved a “nexus” requirement previously adopted by a number of Courts of Appeals.
at 2362. In surveying prior decisions of the Courts of Appeals, theSupreme Court noted that:Some courts have phrased the showing as a “nexus”requirement–that the act must have a
relationship in time,causation, or logic with the judicial proceedings. In other words,the endeavor must have the “natural and probable effect” of interfering with the due administration of justice. But . . . if thedefendant lacks knowledge that his actions are likely to affect the judicial proceeding he lacks the requisite intent to obstruct.
(internal quotations and citations omitted). (Doc. 512, Transcript at 122-23).
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