Stephen Bates

Stephen Bates is an Associate Professor in the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. A graduate of Harvard Law School, he is writing a book about the 1940s Commission on Freedom of the Press.

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Federal Law Enforcement

D.C. Circuit’s Lockdown on Grand Jury Material May Hinder Congress and Historians

McKeever v. Barr, a ruling issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on April 5, rejects the argument that federal judges can release grand jury evidence whenever they think it’s in the public interest. The holding may be bad news for those in Congress who want to see such evidence from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

House Judiciary Committee

Road Map to Impeachment Proceedings? What Watergate Can Teach Us About Unsealing the Mueller Report

At 11:00 a.m. on March 1, 1974, lawyers and reporters gathered in Judge John Sirica’s courtroom in Washington. The Watergate special prosecutor’s office had issued its usual bland announcement: A “proceeding” would take place. In court, Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski said that the grand jury had materials to submit to the judge: an indictment and a sealed report. The grand jury foreman, a Library of Congress trade analyst named Vladimir Pregelj, handed Judge Sirica two sealed envelopes.

Watergate Road Map

Jaworski’s Road Map May Not Guide Mueller

Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski’s report to the House of Representatives hastened the impeachment of President Nixon in 1974. Now that Jaworski’s “road map” has been made public, after 44 years under judicial seal, Robert Mueller may be able to use it as a template for his own impeachment report—assuming that he’s preparing one.

The Russia Connection

What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Mueller Report

Once the midterms are past, Americans can resume their reveries about a hypothetical report from the special counsel’s office. There’s no telling how much Robert Mueller knows, but onlookers can speculate about how much the country is likely to find out and how it’s likely to do so. A Mueller Report? A Rosenstein Report? An Impeachment Report? All three?

Secrecy & Leaks

Jaworski Road Map to be Mostly Unsealed

One month ago, the three of us filed a petition in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for the release of the so-called “Watergate Road Map”—one of the last great still-secret Watergate documents. Last week, Chief Judge Beryl Howell, acting in a separate case, ordered the document’s release.