United States v. Hubbell

530 U.S. 27 (2000)

Facts

Hubbell (D) pled guilty to mail fraud and tax evasion from his billing practices in his Arkansas law firm. D was sentenced under a plea agreement to 21 months, and he also promised to provide full, complete, accurate, and truthful information about matters relating to the Whitewater investigation. D was prosecuted to determine if he had violated his plea bargain promise. While incarcerated, D was served with a subpoena duces tecum for the production of 11 categories of documents, and when he appeared before the grand jury, he took the Fifth. The prosecutor thereafter produced an order under 18 U.S.C. 6003(a) directing D to respond and granting him immunity to the extent the law allowed. D then produced 13,120 pages and responded to a series of questions except for a few documents, which D claimed under attorney-client privilege. Those documents produced resulted in a 10-count indictment for various tax and wire fraud charges. The District Court dismissed the indictment under 6002 because all of the evidence resulted from the immunized act. The Independent Counsel conceded that he was not looking for tax or wire fraud issues and that he learned about the unreported income from his examination of the documents. The Court of Appeals vacated and remanded in that the District Court incorrectly relied on the fact that there was no prior knowledge of the contents of the subpoenaed documents. The District Court was directed to establish the extent and detail of the Government’s knowledge of D’s financial affairs on the day the subpoena issued. Then and only then could linkage be assessed. The dissent held that D would only be shielded from the use of the information resulting from the subpoena beyond what the prosecutor would receive if the documents appeared in the grand jury room unsolicited and unmarked like manna from heaven. On remand, the Independent Counsel admitted he could not satisfy the reasonable particularity standard and then entered into a conditional plea agreement with D that left D without any liability for incarceration. Despite this new plea agreement, the Supreme Court granted certiorari.