Supreme Court Investigation Fails To Identify Leaker Of Dobbs Draft Decision

 January 20, 2023

An investigation by the U.S. Supreme Court has failed to identify the culprit who leaked a draft Court decision that signaled the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling the legalized abortion at the federal level. On Thursday, the report, released by the U.S. Supreme Court Marshal, states that an investigative team hasn't been able to "identify a person responsible by a preponderance of the evidence" who leaked the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization draft opinion.

The day after the leak, Chief Justice John Roberts called upon the Marshal of the Court, to investigate the situation and find the source who leaked the document to Politico. According to the court, the investigators interviewed more than 120 interviews of nearly 100 employees, all of whom denied disclosing the opinion. Sources told Fox News over the summer that the initial focus was on some three dozen law clerks who work directly with the justices. Those clerks were asked to turn over their phones.

Per the Marshal’s report, the investigation team has been-

 "unable to identify a person responsible by a preponderance of the evidence." And "The investigation has determined that it is unlikely that the Court's information technology (IT) systems were improperly accessed by a person outside the Court,"… "After examining the Court's computer devices, networks, printers, and available call and text logs, investigators have found no forensic evidence who disclosed the draft opinion."

- U.S. Supreme Court Marshal Report

The report, in part, also says that-

 "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,"

- U.S. Supreme Court Marshal Report

Additionally, a few of those interviewed during the investigation admitted to having told their spouse or partner about the draft Dobbs opinion in violation of the Court's confidentiality rules, according to the Marshall's report notes. The report adds, that some personnel, handled the Dobbs draft "in ways that deviated from their standard process for handling draft opinions."

On “America Reports,” Jonathan Turley, George Washington University law professor, weighed in on the U.S. Supreme Court's statement, that the leaker of the draft of the ruling on Dobbs v Jackson Women's Health Organization has still not been found. In a post on Twitter, Turley stated-

 "The Supreme Court's report indicates that they cannot isolate the culprit among the over 80 possible suspects for the Dobbs leak. It is an admission that is almost as chilling as the leak itself,"… "It will likely revive concerns over whether the FBI should have been asked to take the lead on the investigation. The Court is only a few blocks from the world's leading forensic investigatory body. What is clear is that any hope for a deterrent on such unethical conduct has been dramatically reduced. Thus far, the culprit succeeded in not just leaking the opinion but evading detection."

- Jonathan Turley, George Washington University law professor

Other conservatives reacted to the U.S. Supreme Court report in this manner-

  • Rep. Andy Biggs, (R) Arizona, described that the fact that a leaker hasn't yet been identified is a "colossal failure." He said-

"How haven't we been able to identify the Dobbs Leaker? This is either pure incompetence or willful conduct to hide the Leaker. Either way, a colossal failure,"

-Rep. Andy Biggs, (R) Arizona
  • Rep. Mike Johnson, (R) Louisiana, tweeted that the leak will put the court's future operations at risk adding-

"This breaking news is a dangerous & inexcusable development that will jeopardize the future operations of our nation’s highest court. Justice has clearly not been served here & the guilty party remains at large,"

-Rep. Mike Johnson, (R) Louisiana
  • Sen. Ted Cruz, (R)Texas, said that the leaker must be held accountable. Cruz tweeted-

"It’s deeply troubling that the Dobbs leaker still has not been found. The Supreme Court depends on trust to deliberate and this leak is incredibly damaging to the Court’s ability to function normally," adding "The leaker must to be brought to justice!"

-Sen. Ted Cruz, (R)Texas
  • Rep. Barry Loudermilk, (R) Georgia, emphasized that Americans deserve answers. He said-

"After 8 months of investigating one of the biggest leaks in American history, the conclusion of the SCOTUS is: they don’t know? The American people deserve answers,"

-Rep. Barry Loudermilk, (R) Georgia
  • Sen. Josh Hawley, (R) Missouri, said of the report-

"This is inexcusable. And it means brazen attempts like this one to change the Court’s decisions - from within - will become more common. Someone ought to resign for this. The person who did this, whoever it was, put at risk the lives of hundreds of pregnancy care center volunteers, whose centers were attacked and fire bombed, to say nothing of the justices themselves,"

-Sen. Josh Hawley, (R) Missouri

Former DHS secretary, and federal appeals judge, Michael Chertoff, brought on by Roberts, as a consultant on the court's internal investigative methods, said-

"The Court investigators will continue following up on leads if more information is learned," said "In the meantime, the Court has already taken steps to increase security and tighten controls regarding the handling of sensitive documents. "Most significantly, the Chief Justice has also directed a comprehensive review of the Court's information and document security protocols to mitigate the risk of future incidents."

- Michael Chertoff Investigative Consultant To Supreme Court

It is beyond believable that this person who leaked the draft has not been found to date. This security breach must be addressed. Security protocols and personnel standards must be overhauled. It would be interesting to know if the use of a polygraph was used to determine truth by these individuals, given the historic significance of this leak and the documents that these persons have access to. Obviously, someone is lying. A sad testimony for the highest court in this nation, and a real black eye on the court.

“It's discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.”

-Noël Coward
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