Criminal Prosecution for Disclosure of Classified Information Relating to Defense Department Vietnam Study
This memo, written shortly after the Supreme Court’s decision allowing the publication of the Pentagon Papers to continue, analyzed the Justice Department’s possible paths to “prosecuting government employees, private citizens, reporters, and newspaper entities” involved in the papers’ publication. It concluded that newspapers might be subject to criminal liability under 18 U.S.C. § 793, and potentially 18 U.S.C. § 2 and 18 U.S.C. § 371, although ultimately the Justice Department only prosecuted Daniel Ellsberg and Anthony Russo.