The Obstruction of Justice

Criminal Law and Procedure Practice Group

Event Video

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 Every few months, a highly visible public figure or government official becomes embroiled in a criminal investigation that ultimately includes obstruction of justice charges.  Barry Bonds, Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA), Roger Clemens, Scooter Libby, Martha Stewart, Computer Associates, the U.S. Attorney firings, the CIA’s destruction of interrogation tapes – all have included a focus on the conduct occurring during the investigation of other, unrelated charges.  But what exactly is obstruction of justice, and what role should it play in our justice system?  No one can doubt the importance of punishing those who willfully corrupt the administration of justice, lie under oath, tamper with witnesses, or destroy evidence, but critics charge that prosecutors have used “creative interpretations” of obstruction of justice statutes to punish marginal conduct or create criminal liability where none otherwise existed.  What is the proper role and scope of the obstruction statutes?  Have obstruction of justice prosecutions veered too far from heartland cases?  Please join us for an informative workshop addressing these issues. Audio and video recorded on May 29, 2008.


  • Mr. Michael J. Madigan, Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer, & Feld
  • Prof. Stephen A. Saltzburg, The George Washington University Law School
  • Hon. George J. Terwilliger III, White & Case LLP and former Deputy U.S. Attorney General
  • Prof. Jonathan Turley, The George Washington University Law School
  • Moderator: Hon. Merrick B. Garland, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit