Image 01 Image 03

Abortion-Leak Mole Hunt Intensifies At Supreme Court, Law Clerks Reportedly Targeted

Abortion-Leak Mole Hunt Intensifies At Supreme Court, Law Clerks Reportedly Targeted

Leaks about the leak investigation. Law Clerks reportedly being asked for phone records and to sign affidavits. But maybe the Chief Justice already knows who did it, and is letting he/she/them panic to further betray the trail and see how high and wide the leak conspiracy ran.

The United States Supreme Court is leaking like a sieve.

It started with the leak of Justice Alito’s draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, believed to be a majority opinion at least as of early February 2022. That unleashed a firestrom of leftwing protest (which likely was the plan), but also plenty of speculation as to the culprit.

Most of the speculation, some of which has been highly irresponsible in naming possible names based on profiles, has centered on Supreme Court law clerks.

Now we have leaks about the leak investigation. CNN reports that law clerks are in the sights of investigators, with personal phone records being requsted as well as clerks being asked to sign affidavits:

Supreme Court officials are escalating their search for the source of the leaked draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade, taking steps to require law clerks to provide cell phone records and sign affidavits, three sources with knowledge of the efforts have told CNN.

Some clerks are apparently so alarmed over the moves, particularly the sudden requests for private cell data, that they have begun exploring whether to hire outside counsel.

The court’s moves are unprecedented and the most striking development to date in the investigation into who might have provided Politico with the draft opinion it published on May 2. The probe has intensified the already high tensions at the Supreme Court, where the conservative majority is poised to roll back a half-century of abortion rights and privacy protections.

Chief Justice John Roberts met with law clerks as a group after the breach, CNN has learned, but it is not known whether any systematic individual interviews have occurred….

It is not known if court officials are asking employees who are part of the permanent staff, beyond the one-year law clerks, for their phone records.

So, there’s not a lot of specifics in the CNN report, but the logical place to start would be those closest to the opinion writing process — the clerks — and work your way out. It also makes sense to put people under oath, which raises the stakes enormously for a perp, converting what may be a breach of trust into a crime.

Prof. Jonathan Turley notes:

The affidavit may be a greater concern for the leaker. After all, the leaker may have wisely avoided using the cellphone or creating digital tracks. The affidavit is a sworn statement to federal investigators. If false, it would establish that a federal crime has been committed. Under 18 U.S.C. 1001, it is a federal crime to knowingly and willfully make a materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the United States. While there were possible criminal claims that could have been brought based on the leak, this makes such criminality clear and undeniable.

That would mean that any doubt would be removed for the leaker. If he or she were to go public or be uncovered in the future, there would be a risk of not simply disbarment but criminal prosecution. The leaker may expect that they will be lionized for this effort in the media, though that is more likely if it was a liberal rather than a conservative leaker. This could frustrate such plans. Frankly, I am surprised that such affidavits were not required in the first week.

Maybe they were required the first week. We don’t know. Maybe John Roberts knows who done it, and is letting he/she/them panic to further betray the trail and see how high and wide the leak conspiracy ran. While there are claims that the FBI has not been asked to help, how do we know that is still true?

The probe is turning the court inside out – which of course was one of the goals IF as is likely the leaker was someone upset with the Alito/Majority opinion. The goal would have been not only to create a pretext for protest to pressure the Justices, but also do damage the court irreparably. What progressives cannot control, they must destroy, and SCOTUS no longer is something progressives can control.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


If ever there was a time and a place for a good, old-fashioned ass kicking…

    henrybowman in reply to Paul. | May 31, 2022 at 11:39 pm

    I’m holding out for the Julius and Ethel solution.

    Temujin in reply to Paul. | June 1, 2022 at 8:35 am

    There has already been new precedent established by a federal judge and by his jury, in the Susanna case, which declared that “lying to the FBI” is no longer a crime … IF YOU ARE A DEMOCRAT !!!

      Paul in reply to Temujin. | June 1, 2022 at 10:28 am

      “There are bigger things”, don’tcha know?

      Or does the “she didn’t INTEND to break the law” standard apply?

    DelightLaw1 in reply to Paul. | June 1, 2022 at 11:14 am

    Here’s my #1 Person of Interest:

    “Sheldon Snook will take on a new role as special assistant to Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.’s counselor. The counselor’s office advises the chief justice not only on the management and budget of the Supreme Court but also on his interactions with the executive and legislative branches, along with numerous other public roles in which Roberts serves.”
    Mary McCord, married to Chief Justice John Robert’s special ass’t. Sheldon Snook. She lies on FISA, he cleans up–and publishes an Atlantic article…”

    “McCord, married to Sheldon Snook, who also worked for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. In fact, it was McCord who got her husband his job as administrative assistant and court liaison to the public and news media by recommending him to Judge Hogan. Snook also served as spokesman for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. He currently works in a similar capacity for the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Colonel Travis | May 31, 2022 at 6:52 pm

A DC jury will be all over this. And by “be all over this” I mean “will not be all over this.”

Roberts a sleuth? Hardly… he wants to cover it up most likely if he himself didn’t leak it and I imagine he did

That’s how much of a coward he is

They probably know who did it. They just have to prove it.

“Under 18 U.S.C. 1001, it is a federal crime to knowingly and willfully make a materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the United States.”

Apparently not.

    Subotai Bahadur in reply to Rabel. | May 31, 2022 at 11:35 pm

    Unless said false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement benefits the Democrats, their allies to the Left, or the power of the STATE.

    Subotai Bahadur

      Pretty much. To deny this is laughable after the Mueller Trump-Russia investigation. Violation of this ‘regulation’ is virtually a hobby within the Beltway.

ugottabekiddinme | May 31, 2022 at 7:02 pm

What exactly do the affidavits say?

I can just imagine the threat: (Principal Skinner voice) : “This is going in your permanent record!”

Polygraphs, anyone?

I would think the Chief Justice could find a judge to sign the appropriate warrant for phone records. Then again, a top law student/clerk could come up with the $50 or so for a burner phone.

“They probably know who did it. They just have to prove it.”

Well, They probably know who did it. They just want to figure out how to end the investigation without doing any harm to that individual..

Like Sussman no Leftist Law Clerk will pay for this, and as soon as it’s cleared they will be the toast of the town, especially if the Abortion ruling goes south.

A month later and they’re JUST NOW requesting phone records and affadavits?

It’s also been stated that they haven’t even individually interviewed the law clerks yet.

This ‘investigation’ is a joke. It has a VERY limited pool of people, and a very clear document (there are regular changes so identifying which version was leaked narrows it down to a pretty small period of time).

A rookie detective could have cracked this in less than a week. Corporations do internal investigations for sensitive leaks in less time with far less resources.

This crap smacks of ‘nobody is buying that we’re actually investigating, so lets make some big public show of something that should have happened weeks ago’.

This just confirms what I said at the start. Roberts either knows who the leaker is, or doesn’t WANT to actually know, and this sham investigation is just to placate the conservatives as they spin their wheels waiting for it to die down.

    natdj in reply to Olinser. | May 31, 2022 at 7:50 pm

    I get the impression that SCOTUS under Roberts is run about as competently as Biden and his administration. This is amateur hour in Washington DC. Finally, Barney Fife would probably run a better investigation then these clowns.

    CommoChief in reply to Olinser. | May 31, 2022 at 11:03 pm

    Or they got cooperation from most and this is aimed at the holdouts as a form of pressure….

    Or they already ‘know’ but can’t prove who…

    Or maybe Barney Fiffe is running the investigation because being questioned under oath and signing a statement/affidavit would seem to be first day actions….

    Ken in Camarillo in reply to Olinser. | June 2, 2022 at 1:07 am

    It’s very possible that the “slow start” to the investigation was a strategy. After the initial leak (kicking the anthill) you know that there is going to be lots of activity including by the perps, so why not watch it all very carefully without providing any clues of your knowledge or thinking to the perps. Sort of like a submarine using passive sonar arrays to collect information without giving away its location with active sonar.

    Then after the surge of activity calms down, then go into the active investigation after the die has been cast by all those early activities.

Politico published a photo of the first page of the draft opinion, and it clearly shows the position of the staple and a dog-ear. From that photo, any competent forensic scientist could determine which of the copies given to the various justices was the one that was copied.

The first thing they should do is to round up all the copies and determine which one has these characteristic features. Then they should concentrate on exactly who handled that particular copy, and who had the opportunity to copy it.

Roberts bares some of the blame for the leak. He wrote the majority decision in what we all know as Obamacare and it constitutionality. If he did NOT rewrite the law as a Chief Justice instead of an elected representative, maybe the court would not have become so political as a result. Right now, Roberts is seen as shout as incompetent as Biden.

Steven Brizel | May 31, 2022 at 8:19 pm

Roberta should appoint a Special Master with full subpoena and investigatory powers place all clerks under oath with and order the clerks to produce all of their cell phones and personal computers both privately owned and owned by Uncle Sam for forensic review The key is looking for data erased on the date and time of the leak The clerk who does not want to talk or who jumps with a story to the legacy media with an oped is the obvious culprit

Maybe John Roberts knows who done it, and is letting he/she/them panic to further betray the trail and see how high and wide the leak conspiracy ran. ”

Can we please stop dressing Roberts as some type of political savant? His Obamacare decision was equally speculated. He is clueless. Period.

My money is on one of the dim-witted Latina’s clerks. With or without her connivance.

    Peabody in reply to guyjones. | June 1, 2022 at 2:56 am

    You obviously want to play it safe and not take a risk.

      guyjones in reply to Peabody. | June 1, 2022 at 11:31 am

      Well, the dim-witted Latina’s obvious narcissism and partisan zealotry, and, the demonstrable partisan zealotry of one of her clerks, Amit Jain, who has a documented history of having engaged in manifestly self-aggrandizing and narcissistic partisan agitprop stunts while he was attending Yale Law School, support this notion.

If Roberts can’t be trusted with US Constitution, I hardly see him punishing one of his liberal judges’ law clerks. There are easily a 100 Federal agencies now more powerful than Congress or this feckless court.

Will Chief Justice Roberts agree to sign an affidavit? Why do I ask? I have a feeling he in fact is the leaker.

henrybowman | May 31, 2022 at 11:42 pm

“While there are claims that the FBI has not been asked to help, how do we know that is still true?”

We’d better hope it is.
If that Rubicon ever gets crossed, the investigation is doomed.

I don’t see any reason to even bother with the prosecution after the Sussman acquittal.

He will get charged and acquitted by a jury that is easy to confuse for randomly chosen DNC staffers.

Whichever justice’s clerk it is should resign.

It’s not a clerk

It’s roberta

Start focusing on anyone who gets legal counsel and then go out from there.

MoeHowardwasright | June 1, 2022 at 6:14 am

With the revelation that a FBI desk, complete with data base access was set up inside Perkins Coie, maybe they should just contact them to initiate the investigation. Let’s face it, our government, it’s agencies and now the court system are rotted from the inside out.

The law clerks, especially the law clerks to the liberal justices would have been the first place to look. I doubt permanent staff would have done this because they probably like their jobs and need the paycheck/retirement. Law clerks are temporary jobs. I have no doubt that many of the law clerks to the liberal justices were selected solely on their hyper-partisanship instead of critical thinking skills.

If the FBI investigates they will find that a Trump supporter did it.

Why do we still belive or listen to anything CNN has to say?

Capitalist-Dad | June 1, 2022 at 9:19 am

It always seems “investigations” of government personnel—ones the left applauds—always start out with polite requests for cell phones or affidavits. No grand juries, no search warrants, no cops showing up for interrogations. But for the average American such investigations would start with FBI agents (or maybe a full SWAT team) confiscating whatever they wanted and hauling the person in for questioning. Equal justice, anyone?

Does anyone honestly think that the so called leaker will be uncovered? I don’t. I think it was one of the lib judges, probably Breyer since he his retiring this month to be replaced by a “not a biologist” idiot. If not him then probably Sotomayor or Kagan. The other judges have integrity except Roberts.

The Court is damaged—-no question about that——but destroying the Court is solely in the hands of Roberts. If he does not identify the leaker and they get away with it, the Court is pretty much done….no trust at all amongst anyone. Partisan divides will rule. If they find the leaker and then let them off with a slap on the wrist, then again…it’s destruction. The only path back is to identify the leaker and then utterly destroy that person’s career. The public penalty must be so incredibly high that they are branded for life. The penalty must be so high that the only work they get in private after being disbarred is pennies compared to what they would have received. Anything less will only encourage more of this. Scorched earth is the only way out….does Roberts have it in him????

R.I.P. Justice in America. HIllary, Clinesmith. Susseman, all quilty and what?
Nothing.. As America sinks into utter decay, the crowds chant, “Let’s Go Branden”.

There is some precedent for the leak: during Mid-May 2015, Ruth Bader Ginsberg officiated over a same-sex “marriage” ceremony. The next month, SCOTUS released it’s opinion in Obergefell.

RBG was lauded for officiating over the “marriage” ceremony. Didn’t we all know from her presiding over the ceremony that SCOTUS would legalize it?

So RBG set a really bad example for the current leaker.

    Milhouse in reply to Publius Huldah. | June 1, 2022 at 5:33 pm

    Didn’t we all know from her presiding over the ceremony that SCOTUS would legalize it?

    No. How could we know that? That didn’t even indicate how she would vote, let alone how the majority would go. Though of course there was never much doubt about her vote, just based on her general opinions; but her officiating at the ceremony gave no more certainty to that.

Who would have guessed that a desire and defense of a wicked solution, a final solution, would be the cause of a clear and progressive social jeopardy.

Insufficiently Sensitive | June 1, 2022 at 11:06 am

We don’t know. Maybe John Roberts knows who done it, and is letting he/she/them panic to further betray the trail and see how high and wide the leak conspiracy ran.

Disagree. Roberts has wishy-washied his way through legal decisions (things a judge must be prepared to actually make) enough to signal that he’s a social/legal opportunist more than a jurist. If he knows, yet doesn’t act on that knowledge, he’s just following his old sense of ‘don’t make waves’.

Whatever is true of the leak, Roberts will be responsible for the outcome of the investigation. If he whiffs it, he might as well have engineered the leak himself.

Gonna sloooooow-walk this to a decidedly fuzzy and inconclusive conclusion, way, way down the road …

Look for the next Law Clerk to get a job at Perkins Coie

    billi in reply to Q. | June 2, 2022 at 9:50 am

    And that’s the rest of the story. I would place my bet with your analysis of the situation — big time

Old Soldier | June 1, 2022 at 11:40 am

The Chief is not serious about finding the leaker, otherwise the FBI would be doing the investigating, not the Marshal of the Court. As sharp as COL (ret.) Curry may be, she does not have the experience that comes with years of questioning suspects as a field agent.

The leaker is not a law clerk or at not least a current one. Every law clerk likes to think their future is bright and there is no quicker route to an ignoble end to a promising career in academia or Big Law than to leak a draft opinion.

The leaker is an insider, or has a close relationship with an insider or a law clerk, with access to draft opinions. The leaker is a lawyer and knew what to highlight in the draft for the reader.

The leaker is very careful, did not use a government device or network to facilitate the leak, will not make a false statement, and did not accept anything of value in return for the leaked opinion. There will be no digital trail to follow. He or she need only ride it out for a few more weeks until the Term ends, the likely suspects (current crop of law clerks) leave, and then the leaker is in the clear.

    RRRR in reply to Old Soldier. | June 2, 2022 at 7:14 am

    One flaw in your assumptions. A current law clerk who has lined up a job teaching following this year would have nothing to lose by being disbarred and a lot (in his or her twisted mind) to gain from the “heroic” notoriety.

Wouldn’t surprise me if it was actually one of the so called justices sitting on the court…

Speculating about “Who dunnit” is entertaining and I’ve appreciated reading all the thoughts above. However I wonder if we’ve limited the possibilities by assuming the leaker is a leftist whose motive is to bring pressure on the justices via base reaction to save Roe?

What if the leaker is a righty whose motive is to preserve the early vote and prevent Roberts from a 4th quarter Obamacare like miracle judgment? The leaker’s motive being to create the appearance of intimidation of the SC should the vote go the other way and Roe be saved? I.e., the leak was to lock in the early vote.

Old Soldier | June 1, 2022 at 3:29 pm

The fact Nina Totenberg was peddling the “leaker is a conservative clerk” makes me discount it out of hand.

I don’t know if I can trust the outcome of the investigation. There have been too many fake news reports lately. I don’t believe the WaPost or NY Times at all. Mostly spouting propaganda.

If it would be some conservative clerk who thinks the powers would have such a laissez-faire attitude to catch that person?

Grand Moff Tarkin | June 2, 2022 at 4:57 pm

As if the leaker has anything to worry about…provided they are a liberal or progressive. They probably won’t get indicted. If they do get indicted, they will get a sweetheart deal…they probably won’t even lose their license to practice law. And if by some miracle, the case went to trial, the jury of DC residents would almost certainly acquit. There are much more important crimes to be prosecuted, like some Republican j-walking.

More BS! If there were a serious effort to find the leaker, it would have been over in fewer than 24 hours…they don’t want to find the leaker, plain and simple

I believe that they know who leaked the opinion, and have known for some time.
The delay is providing that information is strictly to manage the situation with what Roberts views as the least damage to the Court.
All of the current opinions being worked on will first be released. Then, the court will go on summer break. That is the time when the name will be revealed, if it is ever revealed.
The leaker could very well be a clerk whose contract is up after these opinions are finished anyway. Roberts would view that as being the least disruptive to the Court.
This is being managed from a damage control political viewpoint and not from a get the truth out as soon as possible perspective.