Did Obama violate grand jury secrecy rules?

From the Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire:

President Barack Obama was a lawyer before he became a politician, but on Friday he broke one of the most basic legal rules: He publicly discussed a sealed indictment.

Speaking at a White House press conference about government surveillance, terrorism, and other topics, the president was asked about his past statements that the people who attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, last year would be brought to justice.

“We have informed, I think, the public that there’s a sealed indictment. It’s sealed for a reason. But we are intent on capturing those who carried out this attack, and we’re going to stay on it until we get them,’’ Mr. Obama said.

While the president of the United States can declassify top secret intelligence information on his own say-so, disclosing secret grand jury material is a different matter. Rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure clearly states: “… no person may disclose the indictment’s existence except as necessary to issue or execute a warrant or summons.’’

Of course there is zee likelihood that the DOJ will look at this. And I certainly do not suggest that it ought to. Bt one wonders what the media reaction might have been had George W. Bush been the president who violated the rules regarding grand jury proceedings.

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