(Mark Pellin, Headline USA) The U.S. Supreme Court pleaded ignorance in a statement issued Thursday addressing the findings from a months-long investigation to root out who was responsible for the infamous leak of Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion that overturned Roe.
Despite vowing to find who was responsible for what the justices called “one of the worst breaches of trust in [the court’s] history,” the investigation they ordered has “to date been unable to identify a person responsible by a preponderance of the evidence.”
“The leak was no mere misguided attempt at protest. It was a grave assault on the judicial process,” the justices wrote in their statement concerning the leak investigation.
“The Court immediately and unanimously agreed that the extraordinary betrayal of trust that took place last May warranted a thorough investigation,” they wrote, explaining that the task had been assigned to the Marshal of the Supreme Court and her staff.
“After months of diligent analysis of forensic evidence and interviews of almost 100 employees, the Marshal’s team determined that no further investigation was warranted with respect to many of the “82 employees [who] had access to electronic or hard copies of the draft opinion,” the justices conceded in admitting that their investigation had fizzled.
BREAKING: The investigation on who leaked the Dobbs decision has nearly concluded and the leaker wasn’t identified.
This is totally unacceptable and a serious threat to one of our three branches of government.
— Rep. Lauren Boebert (@RepBoebert) January 19, 2023
The investigation found it unlikely that the court’s “information technology (IT) systems were improperly accessed by a person outside the Court,” the report concluded. “After examining the Court’s computer devices, networks, printers, and available call and text logs, investigators have found no forensic evidence indicating who disclosed the draft opinion. They have conducted 126 formal interviews of 97 employees, all of whom denied disclosing the opinion.”
The Marshal’s investigation took a weak stab at trying to cast COVID as a possible contributing factor that led to the leak.
“The pandemic and resulting expansion of the ability to work from home, as well as gaps in the Court’s security policies, created an environment where it was too easy to remove sensitive information from the building and the Court’s IT networks, increasing the risk of both deliberate and accidental disclosures of Court-sensitive information,” the justices statement informed.
The SCOTUS investigation was castigated in equal parts for not only failing to find the leaker, but also for allowing the justices to sidestep themselves as candidates worthy of investigation.
So the SCOTUS leak investigation only questioned the clerks and staff, but not the Justices. Every staffer and clerk signed a sworn affidavit stating they didn’t leak the Dobbs opinion. Guess who that leaves?
— Mueller, She Wrote (@MuellerSheWrote) January 19, 2023
Picture this: Nine people at a dining room table. The lights go off. There’s a scream. One has been fatally stabbed with a steak knife. To investigate, Hercule Poirot interviews the cooks and staff but none of those who were at the table.
That’s the SCOTUS leak investigation.
— Randall Eliason (@RDEliason) January 19, 2023
With Republicans back at the helm of the U.S House, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, is reportedly ready to have the judiciary committee he chairs launch an investigation into the leak and into the flopped Marshal investigation.
That could set up some interesting potentials, according to law professor and legal analyst Jonathan Turley.
“For example, what if the House gave all of those unwilling to testify immunity. They would have to testify under oath (under penalty of perjury),” Turley wrote. “The culprit would have to admit guilt or further increase his or her legal jeopardy with perjury before Congress.”
…Once given immunity, a witness loses the privilege against self-incrimination and must chose between testifying or possible contempt of Congress.
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) January 19, 2023