Arthur Andersen LLP v. United States

In Arthur Andersen LLP v. United States, 544 U.S. 696, 708, 125 S.Ct. 2129, 161 L.Ed.2d 1008 (2005), the Court extended the Aguilar nexus requirement (United States v. Aguilar, 515 U.S. 593 (1995) to prosecutions under 1512(b), which prohibits (among other acts) intentionally and corruptly persuading another person to withhold documents from an official proceeding. In that case, the Court relied on Aguilar to determine that although a proceeding need not be pending under the statute, it must be at least foreseeable to the defendant, because a defendant who "`lacks knowledge that his actions are likely to affect a judicial proceeding ... lacks the requisite intent to obstruct.'" Id. (quoting Aguilar, 515 U.S. at 599, 115 S.Ct. 2357). In Arthur Andersen, LLP v. United States, 544 U.S. 696 (2005), the Court extended the nexus requirement to certain provisions of 18 U.S.C. 1512 which make it a crime to knowingly use intimidation, threaten, or corruptly persuade another person . . . with intent to . . . cause that person to withhold documents from, or alter documents for use in, an official proceeding. 18 U.S.C. 1512(b)(2)(A) and (B). The Court reasoned that it is one thing to say that a proceeding need not be pending or about to be instituted at the time of the offense, and quite another to say a proceeding need not even be foreseen. Arthur Andersen, 544 U.S. at 707-08. The Court concluded that a defendant cannot be convicted under 1512(b)(2)(A) and (B) unless he or she contemplatees a particular official proceeding in which the documents at issue might be material. Id. at 708.