Purging Contempt

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					                        INVESTIGATIONS AND INQUIRIES                   Ch. 15 § 21

   mittee on Government Operations of        that they have purged themselves.
   the United States Senate on the ap-
   pearance of Alan McSurely and Mar-        For example, an argument that an
   garet McSurely before the Senate          unexcused withdrawal from a
   Permanent Subcommittee on Inves-          hearing did not obstruct a com-
   tigations of the Committee on Gov-
   ernment Operations on March 4,            mittee’s inquiry because the wit-
   1969, in Washington, District of Co-      ness returned later and answered
   lumbia, at which they—                    all questions put to him was held
      (1) refused to produce books and       irrelevant, because a witness does
   records lawfully subpenaed to be
   produced before the said sub-             not have a legal right to dictate
   committee, and                            the conditions under which he will
      (2) failed to appear or to produce     testify.(9) In fact, a witness’ offer
   the said books and records pursuant
   to the order and direction of the         of proof that he had purged him-
   chairman with the approval of the         self by testifying freely before an-
   subcommittee before noon on March         other Senate committee and by
   7, 1969, together with all the facts in
   connection therewith, under the seal      opening union files to its scrutiny
   of the United States Senate, to the       was rejected on the ground that
   United States Attorney for the Dis-       the defense of purging in criminal
   trict of Columbia, to the end that the
   said Alan McSurely and Margaret           contempt has been abolished in
   McSurely may be proceeded against         the federal courts.(10) A court may,
   in the manner and form provided by
   law.                                      however, suspend the sentence of
                                             a witness convicted of violating 2
                                             USC § 192 and give him an oppor-
                                             tunity to avoid punishment by
§ 21. Purging Contempt                       giving testimony before a com-
   As the following precedents re-           mittee whose questions he had re-
veal, a witness may be purged of,            fused to answer.
or freed from, contempt under
procedures parallel to those used
in citing for contempt: submission           Report
of a report of the committee and
approval of a resolution author-             § 21.1 The Committee on Un-
izing the Speaker to notify the                American Activities reported
U.S. Attorney to drop the prosecu-
tion. (8)                                     9. United States v Costello, 198 F2d
   Courts have not been sympa-                   200 (2d Cir. 1952), cert. denied, 344
thetic to witnesses’ contentions                 U.S. 874 (1952).
                                             10. United States v Brewster, 154 F
 8. See 3 Hinds’ Precedents §§ 1670,             Supp 126, 135 (D.D.C. 1957), re-
    1682, 1684, 1686, 1687, 1689, 1692,          versed on other grounds, 255 F2d
    1694, 1701, 1702, for earlier prece-         899 (D.C. Cir. 1958), cert. denied,
    dents relating to purgation.                 358 U.S. 842 (1958).

Ch. 15 § 21                   DESCHLER’S PRECEDENTS

 to the House testimony purg-                     caused to be issued a subpena to
                                                  Francis X. T. Crowley, 226 Second
 ing a witness who had been                       Avenue, apartment 15, New York, N.
 cited for his previous refusal                   Y. The said subpena directed Francis
 to testify and recommended                       X. T. Crowley to be and appear be-
                                                  fore said Committee on Un-American
 that     legal     proceedings                   Activities, of which the Honorable
 against the witness be termi-                    Harold H. Velde is chairman, on
                                                  May 4, 1953, at the hour of 10:30
 nated.                                           a.m., then and there to testify touch-
  On July 23, 1954,(11) a report                  ing matters of inquiry committed to
                                                  said committee, and not to depart
purging a witness of contempt                     without leave of said committee.
was presented and read.(12)                         The said Francis X. T. Crowley did
                                                  appear before said committee and
     IN THE MATTER OF FRANCIS X. T.               did refuse to answer questions perti-
               CROWLEY                            nent to the subject under inquiry,
                                                  and his refusal to answer said perti-
    MR. [HAROLD H.] VELDE [of Illinois]:          nent questions deprived your com-
  Mr. Speaker, by direction of the Com-           mittee of necessary and pertinent
  mittee on Un-American Activities, I             testimony and placed the said wit-
                                                  ness in contempt of the House of
  submit a privileged report (Rept. No.           Representatives     of   the   United
  2472).                                          States.
    The Clerk read as follows:                      In Report No. 1586, 83d Congress,
                                                  2d session, your committee reported
      IN   THE   MATTER OF FRANCIS X. T.          to the House of Representatives the
                    CROWLEY                       said actions of Francis X. T. Crowley.
                                                  On May 11, 1954, the House of Rep-
      Mr. Velde, from the Committee on            resentatives adopted by vote of 346
    Un-American Activities, submitted             to 0, House Resolution 541, which is
    the following report:                         set forth in words and figures as fol-
      The Committee on Un-American                lows:
    Activities, as created and authorized           ‘‘Resolved, That the Speaker of the
    by the House of Representatives,              House of Representatives certify the
    through the enactment of Public Law           report of the Committee on Un-
    601, section 121, subsection (q) (2) of       American Activities of the House of
    the 79th Congress, and under House            Representatives as to the refusal of
    Resolution 5 of the 83d Congress,             Francis X. T. Crowley to answer
                                                  questions before the said Committee
11. 100 CONG. REC. 11650, 83d Cong. 2d            on Un-American Activities, together
    Sess.                                         with all the facts in connection
12. See § 21.2, infra, for the resolution         therewith, under seal of the House of
                                                  Representatives, to the United
    purging Mr. Crowley, and 100 CONG.            States attorney for the District of
    REC. 6400, 6401, 83d Cong. 2d Sess.,          Columbia, to the end that the said
    May 11, 1954, for the texts of H.             Francis X. T. Crowley may be pro-
    REPT. No. 1586, relating to the re-           ceeded against in the manner and
    fusal of Mr. Crowley to testify, and          form provided by law.’’
                                                    On June 28, 1954, the said Francis
    H. Res. 541, authorizing the Speaker          X. T. Crowley did appear voluntarily
    to certify that report to the U.S. At-        before your committee in public ses-
    torney for legal action.                      sion in Washington, D.C., and did

                    INVESTIGATIONS AND INQUIRIES                    Ch. 15 § 21

answer all questions which he had       Resolution
previously refused to answer. In ad-
dition, the said Francis X. T. Crow-    § 21.2 The House debated and
ley voluntarily did give your com-
mittee extensive information con-         approved a resolution purg-
cerning the operation of the Com-         ing the contempt of a witness
munist conspiracy in the United           who had previously refused
States of America.
   At the conclusion of the testimony
                                          to testify before the Com-
of the said Francis X. T. Crowley be-     mittee on Un-American Ac-
fore your committee on June 28,           tivities.
1954, the chairman, Hon. Harold H.
Velde, made a statement which is           On July 23, 1954,(13) the House
set forth in words as follows: . . .    debated and approved a resolution
   ‘‘MR. VELDE. May I say that we       authorizing the Speaker to certify
certainly do appreciate the informa-
tion you have given here voluntarily    to the U.S. Attorney a report
to the committee.                       purging a witness of contempt.(14)
   ‘‘As I mentioned before the com-         MR. [HAROLD H.] VELDE [of Illinois]:
mittee would not be authorized as a
                                          Mr. Speaker, I offer a resolution (H.
body to ask for immunity from pros-
ecution for you. However, I do feel       Res. 681) and ask for its immediate
that many of the members of the           consideration.
committee, probably a big majority,         The Clerk read the resolution, as fol-
feel that you have performed a serv-      lows:
ice to your country by giving us the
information that you have, and that            Resolved, That the Speaker of the
                                            House of Representatives certify the
would possibly be a good reason why         report of the Committee on Un-
the Attorney General should drop            American Activities of the House of
prosecution in your particular case         Representatives concerning the ac-
for contempt.                               tion of Francis X. T. Crowley in

  *      *     *      *     *           13. 100 CONG. REC. 11650–52, 83d Cong.
                                            2d Sess. See also § 21.3, infra, for the
   ‘‘MR. VELDE. The witness is ex-
cused with the committee’s thanks.’’        Speaker’s announcement that he had
   Because of the foregoing, on July        certified the purgation and § 21.4,
16, 1954, your committee voted that         infra, for the U.S. Attorney’s state-
it was the sense of the committee           ment that the prosecution would be
that the said Francis X. T. Crowley,        dropped.
because of his voluntary answers to     14. See § 21.1, supra, for the report on
pertinent questions before the com-         this matter and 100 CONG. REC.
mittee and the extensive voluntary          6400, 6401, for the texts of H. REPT.
information he offered concerning
                                            NO. 1586, relating to the refusal of
the operation of the Communist con-
spiracy in the United States of             Mr. Crowley to testify, and H. Res.
America, did purge himself of con-          541, authorizing the Speaker to cer-
tempt of the House of Representa-           tify the report to the U.S. Attorney
tives of the United States.                 for legal action.

Ch. 15 § 21                 DESCHLER’S PRECEDENTS

   purging himself of contempt of the          testify before the committee and later
   House of Representatives of the             came back to testify, it is our clear un-
   United States, together with all the        derstanding that he was acting upon
   facts in connection therewith, under
   seal of the House of Representatives,       his own initiative. He came back to
   to the United States Attorney for the       testify on his own volition. He was not
   District of Columbia, to the end that       acting in furtherance of any con-
   legal proceedings based upon the            spiracy. He was not attempting to im-
   matter certified by the Speaker pur-        pede legitimate congressional inves-
   suant to H. Res. 541, 83d Congress,         tigations, in the opinion of the com-
   second session, against the said
   Francis X. T. Crowley may be with-          mittee.
   drawn and dropped in the manner                The committee wants it clearly un-
   and form provided by law.                   derstood that its unusual action today
                                               in recommending that Francis X. T.
    MR. VELDE: Mr. Speaker, I yield
                                               Crowley be considered as having
 such time as he may desire to the gen-
                                               purged himself of contempt must not
 tleman from California [Mr. Jackson].         be considered as a precedent for any
    MR. [DONALD L.] JACKSON [of Cali-          witness to commit contempt on one day
 fornia]: Mr. Speaker, on May 11, 1954,        and attempt to purge himself of the
 the House adopted by a vote of 346 to         charge on the next. In such case, a wit-
 0, House Resolution 541 citing Francis        ness would thereby be able to select
 X. T. Crowley for contempt of Con-            the time and place of giving his testi-
 gress. On June 28, 1954, Mr. Crowley          mony. A congressional committee is en-
 again appeared before the House Com-          titled to testimony when and where it
 mittee on Un-American Activities at           deems it necessary and proper to have
 his own request and answered all              that testimony. The power to decide
 questions, giving the Congress and the        when and where one shall testify is not
 committee extensive information rel-          properly, under the law, in the hands
 ative to his activities and those of oth-     of a witness. The Crowley case is no
 ers in the Communist Party.                   precedent for any such interpretation.
    The action here proposed, while not           It must further be remembered that
 without precedent, is most unusual, in        Mr. Crowley came back voluntarily be-
 that the House Committee on Un-               fore the committee, and was promised
 American Activities is today asking the       nothing in the way of any remunera-
 House to concur in a committee rec-           tion, reward, or forgiveness. He under-
 ommendation that a witness who was            stood that he was promised nothing
 previously cited by the House for con-        and that he testified freely of his own
 tempt, and in the light of subsequent         will because he desired strongly so to
 cooperation with the committee, be            testify.
 purged of that contempt.                         It is the hope of the committee that
    It is the sense of the committee that      the House will accept the recommenda-
 Mr. Crowley should be purged of con-          tion that Mr. Crowley be purged of
 tempt. However, Mr. Speaker, I should         contempt in this instance.
 like to emphasize one important point            MR. [JAMES G.] FULTON [of Pennsyl-
 relative to Francis X. T. Crowley.            vania]: Mr. Speaker, will the gen-
 When the witness refused originally to        tleman yield?

                       INVESTIGATIONS AND INQUIRIES                     Ch. 15 § 21

   MR. JACKSON: I yield to the gen-              MR. FULTON: When a person is cited
tleman from Pennsylvania.                     and becomes a defendant in a case be-
   MR. FULTON: If the House adopts            fore the United States district court, is
this recommendation as a practice, and        it within our power, our discretion, or
leaving this particular case out of it,       our jurisdiction in the House then to
will it not weaken the Committee on           withdraw the citation? Why does not
Un-American Activities? Will not wit-         the gentleman who has been cited by
nesses who become the defendants in           the Un-American Activities Committee
these citations for contempt pro-             for contempt, and who refused to an-
ceedings feel that they have up until         swer questions on his subversive ac-
the time they are brought into court to       tivities for the overthrow of the United
change their minds? If the committee          States Government, go to the proper
adheres to a rule that the witnesses          authorities on the judicial side and say
are required to come before the Un-           that he has now changed, although he
American Activities Committee in the          committed the offense, and ask that
beginning and testify, will it not expe-      this later repentance and change of
dite the committee’s hearings, instead        mind be taken in mitigation of what
of waiting for the defendant to turn          the penalty might be? The point is
milk toast later on?                          this: Are we in the House responsible
   MR. JACKSON: It would simplify mat-        for relieving such a cited individual of
ters a great deal if we could adopt a         all penalty, or should he go to the At-
rule that would require them to testify       torney General, to whom this citation
in their first appearance. If that could      has been referred, and the judiciary, to
be achieved, there would be no need           get the penalty mitigated, now that he
for contempt proceedings in the House.        has changed his mind?
However, there are instances where it            MR. [FRANCIS E.] WALTER [of Penn-
is believed that a witness in good faith,     sylvania]: Mr. Speaker, will the gen-
through misunderstanding of the cir-          tleman yield?
cumstances, or upon poor advice, re-             MR. JACKSON: I yield to the gen-
fuses to testify. Mr. Crowley, following      tleman from Pennsylvania.
his appearance here, went to a priest,           MR. WALTER: I think it is important
who recommended that he return to             to understand that in this particular
the committee and tell the full truth.        case we are just where we were after
He did so. I have tried to point out in       the vote to cite this man was taken. No
my remarks, I will say to the gen-            further steps have been taken. The
tleman from Pennsylvania, that the            matter has not been presented to the
committee is not establishing, and            grand jury. There has been no indict-
wants it clearly understood that this is      ment, so that we are still in control of
not to be considered as establishing,         this entire situation.
any precedent relative to purge of con-          MR. FULTON: Then will the com-
tempt.                                        mittee at this juncture limit this type
   MR. FULTON: Would the gentleman            of case to the jurisdiction where it has
permit me to ask another question?            still the actual control of the citation
   MR. JACKSON: Surely.                       as in this situation? Once the citation

Ch. 15 § 21                DESCHLER’S PRECEDENTS

 is handed over into the hands of a           tions. I certainly would not indiscrimi-
 United States attorney, I believe it         nately recommend that all these wit-
 should be the United States attorney         nesses who come forward after being
 that goes before the court and asks for      cited be purged by the House of Rep-
 the mitigation or the dismissal.             resentatives. I think you can depend
    MR. WALTER: I am quite certain that       upon the members of our Committee
 the United States attorney does not          on Un-American Activities, who voted
 know anything about this case. It has        unanimously to submit this resolution,
 been referred to the Department of           to take those cases where it seems it is
 Justice, but I do not believe the matter     proper to make the purge or to ask for
 has gone to the United States attorney.      a purging resolution.
 Further, this is an unusual case in             MR. JACKSON: I thank the gen-
 this, that this man realized after he        tleman. I might say that we are fre-
 searched his soul and conscience that        quently belabored in some quarters for
 he had done something injurious to his       being unduly harsh. I believe the adop-
 country, and he convinced us that he         tion of this resolution will indicate that
 was willing and anxious to cooperate         the committee is trying its best to be
 with the work the Congress of the            fair and just
 United States has imposed upon this             MR. [KIT] CLARDY [of Michigan]: Mr.
 committee. It is entirely a bona fide,       Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
 genuine action on the part of this man.         MR. JACKSON: I yield to the gen-
 I do not believe in the light of these       tleman from Michigan.
 circumstances he should be put to the           MR. CLARDY: Is it not true that this
 trouble and expense of defending an          witness when he came before us was a
 action even though ultimately the            more or less confused young man who
 United States attorney would rec-            did not raise the fifth amendment, did
 ommend leniency.                             not raise any of the amendments, but
    MR. JACKSON: May I say to the gen-        merely had a mistaken belief that by
 tleman it is my understanding that the       cooperating with the committee he
 Attorney General’s office and the            would be violating something that was
 United States attorney’s office are in       within his conscience, unlike most of
 accord with the action that is here pro-     those who come before the committee,
 posed.                                       and that we thought the spirit of
    MR. VELDE: Mr. Speaker, will the          Christian charity ought to prevail in
 gentleman yield?                             this case because it was perhaps the
    MR. JACKSON: I yield to the gen-          first and maybe the last and only in-
 tleman from Illinois.                        stance in which we would find a man
    MR. VELDE: Let me point out, too,         of that character coming before us?
 that this witness was not a vicious and         MR. JACKSON: Yes. I sensed that to
 physically contemptuous witness. He          be the feeling of the committee in this
 felt within his conscience, at least we      connection.
 members of the committee felt that he           MR. CLARDY: After he had appeared
 had it within his conscience, that he        the first time he became married, he
 should refuse to answer certain ques-        consulted with his wife, he consulted

                       INVESTIGATIONS AND INQUIRIES                      Ch. 15 § 21

with his priest, he consulted with his          The previous question was ordered.
friends, and finally he came back be-           THE SPEAKER: (15) The question is on
fore us, because he was in his con-           the resolution.
science convinced he could do his coun-         The resolution was agreed to.
try a service. I would hate to see the
                                                A motion to reconsider was laid on
House turn down this one case.
                                              the table.
   MR. JACKSON: I am inclined to think,
if we give the House a chance, it will
vote this resolution.                       Certification of Purgation
   MR. FULTON: If the gentleman will
yield, I want to ask the chairman of        § 21.3 The Speaker informed
the Un-American Activities Committee          the House when he had, pur-
a question. I may be pressing the             suant to authority granted
point, but this is establishing a prece-      him by resolution, certified
dent which will be followed hereafter. I
cannot accept the ground that maybe a         purgation of contempt to the
member of the committee thought this          U.S. Attorney.
was being done in charity. I would
                                               On July 26, 1954,(16) Speaker
therefore ask the chairman of the
Committee on Un-American Activities         Joseph W. Martin, Jr., of Massa-
to state expressly the rule that will be    chusetts, informed the House that
followed by the Un-American Activities      he had certified to the U.S. Attor-
Committee in cases where there is a         ney for the District of Columbia
change of mind and the witness de-
cides he will purge himself of this con-
                                            the report, House Report No.
tempt after he has been cited by the        2472, purging Francis X. T. Crow-
House in accordance with the Un-            ley of contempt.
American Activities Committee’s own
recommendations. I would like that                   CITATIONS   FOR   CONTEMPT
stated right here for a precedent on             THE SPEAKER: The Chair desires to
the first one that comes up, so that          announce that pursuant to sundry res-
there is a precedent and a rule for fu-       olutions of the House he did, on Fri-
ture cases.                                   day, July 23, 1954, make certifications
   MR. VELDE: The gentleman knows it          to the United States attorney, District
is impossible for me to say what the          of Columbia, the United States attor-
committee will do under any of these
                                              ney, southern district of California, the
circumstances. I am sure they will be
                                              United States attorney, eastern district
reasonable. On top of that the House of
                                              of Michigan, the United States attor-
Representatives is not establishing a
precedent in the sense that it is a legal     ney for the district of Oregon, and the
precedent established by the Supreme          United States attorney, western dis-
Court. The House of Representatives           trict of Washington, as follows:
can vote on any of these resolutions as
they see fit.                               15. Joseph W. Martin, Jr. (Mass.).
   Mr. Speaker, I move the previous         16. 100 CONG. REC. 12023, 12024, 83d
question.                                       Cong. 2d Sess.

Ch. 15 § 21                   DESCHLER’S PRECEDENTS

      TO   THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY                            AUGUST 5, 1954.
           DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: . . .             Hon. JOSEPH W. MARTIN, Jr.,
      House Resolution 681, concerning             Speaker of the House of Represent-
    the action of Francis X. T. Crowley              atives, Washington, D.C.
    in purging himself of contempt of the           In re Francis X. T. Crowley, cited
    House of Representatives.(17)                for contempt of the House by House
                                                 Resolution 541, 83d Congress.
U.S. Attorney’s Response                            DEAR MR. SPEAKER: On May 12,
                                                 1954, pursuant to House Resolution
§ 21.4 The Speaker laid before                   541, 83d Congress, you certified to
                                                 me the contempt of the above indi-
  the House the U.S. Attorney’s                  vidual for refusing to answer ques-
  affirmative response to a res-                 tions before the Committee on Un-
  olution     requesting     with-               American Activities on June 8, 1953.
                                                    On July 23, 1954, that committee
  drawal of contempt pro-                        by Report No. 2472, reported that
  ceedings against a person                      Crowley on June 28, 1954, appeared
                                                 voluntarily before it in public session
  who had purged himself of                      and answered all questions which he
  contempt      by    cooperating                had previously refused to answer
  with a committee.                              and, in addition, voluntarily gave ex-
                                                 tensive information concerning the
   On Aug. 9, 1954,(18) Speaker Jo-              operation of the Communist con-
seph W. Martin, Jr., of Massachu-                spiracy in this country. That com-
                                                 mittee further reported that it was
setts, laid before the House a let-              the sense of the committee that
ter from the U.S. Attorney for the               Crowley had thereby purged himself
District of Columbia.(19)                        of his previous contempt of the
                                                 House of Representatives.
   PROCEEDINGS AGAINST FRANCIS X. T.                House Resolution 681 of July 23,
               CROWLEY                           1954, resolved that the Speaker cer-
                                                 tify to the United States attorney
    The Speaker laid before the House            House Report No. 2472, referred to
  the following communication:                   above, ‘‘to the end that legal pro-
                                                 ceedings based upon the matter cer-
17. See § 21.2, supra, for the text of H.        tified by the Speaker pursuant to
    Res. 681, and § 21.4, infra, for the re-     House Resolution 541, 83d Congress,
    sponse of the U.S. Attorney.                 2d session, against the said Francis
18. 100 CONG. REC. 13734, 83d Cong. 2d           X. T. Crowley may be withdrawn
    Sess.                                        and dropped in the manner and form
                                                 provided by law.’’
19. See §§ 21.1 and 21.2, supra, for the
                                                    In my opinion this action by the
    texts, respectively, of H. REPT. NO.         committee and by the House has the
    2472, purging Mr. Crowley of con-            effect of withdrawing the original ci-
    tempt, and H. Res. 681, authorizing          tation of Crowley to my office and of
    the Speaker to certify the report. See       relieving me of the statutory duty to
    also 100 CONG. REC. 6400, 6401, for          put the matter before the grand jury,
    the texts of H. REPT. NO. 1586, relat-       as provided by title 2, United States
    ing to the original refusal to testify,      Code, section 194.
    and H. Res. 541, authorizing the                Inasmuch as Crowley has purged
    Speaker to certify that report to the        himself, and in view of the wish of
    U.S. Attorney.                               the House, expressed in House Reso-

                        INVESTIGATIONS AND INQUIRIES                    Ch. 15 § 21

    lution 681, that contempt pro-               of Wilbur Lee Mahaney, Jr., cited for
    ceedings     against   Crowley      be       contempt of the House of Represent-
    dropped, I shall not present the mat-        atives by House Resolution 535, 83d
    ter to the grand jury and I shall            Congress; to the Committee on Un-
    close the prosecution on my records.         American Activities.(1)
                       LEO A. ROVER,           Parliamentarian’s Note: In a let-
                 United States Attorney.     ter dated Mar. 3, 1955, the U.S.
       (Copy to Hon. Harold H. Velde,        Attorney for the District of Co-
    chairman Committee on Un-Amer-           lumbia, Leo A. Rover, informed
    ican Activities, House of Representa-    the Chairman of the Committee
    tives, Washington, D.C.)
                                             on Un-American Activities of the
§ 21.5 The U.S. Attorney, in re-             84th Congress, Francis E. Walter,
  sponse to a letter received                of Pennsylvania, that he would
  during an adjournment in-                  drop legal action against Wilbur
  forming him that a witness                 Lee Mahaney, Jr., because the
                                             former chairman, Harold H.
  who had been cited by the
                                             Velde, of Illinois, had by letter in-
  House for contempt had later
                                             dicated that it was the sense of
  purged himself, advised the                the committee that the witness
  Speaker by letter that he                  had purged himself. The body of
  would not present the con-
  tempt to the grand jury and                 1. See 100 CONG. REC. 6386–89, 83d
  would close the prosecution                    Cong. 2d Sess., May 11, 1954, for the
  on his records.                                texts of H. REPT. NO. 1580, citing
                                                 Mr. Mahaney for contempt for re-
   On Mar. 10, 1955,(20) the fol-                fusal to testify, and H. Res. No. 535,
lowing item appeared in the Con-                 authorizing the Speaker to certify to
gressional Record.                               the U.S. Attorney the report, respec-
                                                    Parliamentarian’s Note: This letter
     Under clause 2 of rule XXIV, execu-         was not laid before the House; an
  tive communications were taken from            adjournment prevented action on a
  the Speaker’s table and referred as fol-       resolution certifying the purgation.
  lows:                                             See §§ 21.1, 21.2, and 21.4, supra,
      527. A letter from the United              for the texts of a report purging a
    States Attorney, District of Colum-          witness, a resolution authorizing the
    bia, Department of Justice, relative         Speaker to certify the purging report
    to a letter addressed to Hon. Francis        to the U.S. Attorney, and the re-
    Walter, chairman, committee on Un-
    American Activities of the House of          sponse of the U.S. Attorney in the
    Representatives, relating to the case        case of Francis X. T. Crowley, re-
                                                 spectively, when the House was able
20. 101 CONG. REC. 2659, 84th Cong. 1st          to receive and act on the committee
    Sess.                                        report because it was in session.

Ch. 15 § 21                 DESCHLER’S PRECEDENTS

the U.S. Attorney’s letter             to      purged himself, and in view of the
Chairman Walter follows:                       wish of the Committee expressed by
                                               Committee in the aforementioned let-
    By letter dated December 30, 1954,         ter of its Chairman, that contempt pro-
 the Honorable Harold H. Velde, Chair-         ceedings against Mahaney be dropped,
 man, Committee on Un-American Ac-             I shall not present the matter to the
 tivities of the House of Representa-          grand jury and I shall close the pros-
 tives, informed me that on November           ecution on my records.
 28, 1954, the Committee voted that it           For your information, I do not pro-
 was the sense of the Committee that           pose to give notification of this action
 Mahaney, on July 30, 1954, had                to Mahaney.
 purged himself of the contempt there-
 tofore committed by him in refusing to
 answer questions on February 16,
 1954, for which refusals Mahaney had
                                             § 22. Certification to U.S.
 been cited for contempt by the House          Attorney
 of Representatives on May 11, 1954.
    In the letter of December 30, 1954,         A statute (2) imposes a duty on
 Chairman Velde stated that the report       the Speaker of the House or Presi-
 and statement of Mahaney’s purge            dent of the Senate to certify to the
 were being forwarded to this office to      appropriate U.S. Attorney state-
 the end that legal proceedings on the
 contempt citation against Mahaney           ments of facts relating to con-
 may be withdrawn and dropped.               tumacious conduct of witnesses.
    Mr. Velde further stated that the re-    The statute requires a committee
 port and statement were being for-          to report such facts to the House
 warded directly by the Chairman of          or Senate when Congress is in
 the Committee inasmuch as the House         session, or to the Speaker or
 of Representatives was adjourned. It is     President of the Senate when
 my understanding that the Speaker of
 the House was out of the city and un-
                                             Congress is not in session.
 available to receive and transmit the          When either the House or Sen-
 report and statement to this office as is   ate receives a report of contuma-
 provided by 2 U.S.C. 194 for citations      cious conduct from a committee, it
 of contempt when Congress is not in         routinely considers a resolution of-
 session.                                    fered by a committee member au-
    It   appears,    under   these    cir-   thorizing the Speaker or President
 cumstances, that this action by the
 Committee may be regarded as having
                                             of the Senate to certify the facts to
 the effect of withdrawing the original      the U.S. Attorney. By reviewing
 citation of Mahaney to my office and of     this resolution, the body checks
 relieving me of the statutory duty to       the action of the committee.
 put the matter before the grand jury,
 as provided by 2 U.S.C. 194.                 2. 2 USC § 94. See 3 Hinds’ Precedents
    Inasmuch as Mahaney has been con-            §§ 1672, and 1691 for earlier prece-
 sidered by the Committee as having              dents relating to certification.


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