Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) and 18 other Republicans on May 3 urged Attorney General Merrick Garland to order an investigation into the leak of a Supreme Court draft opinion—believed to be the first leak of its kind in history.
The leak appears to be aimed at “foment[ing] discord and upheaval, potentially pressuring justices to reconsider their votes through threats or intimidation,” the Republicans wrote to Garland.
“This flagrant attack on the Supreme Court, the pinnacle of the judicial branch, threatens to delegitimize and undermine our nation’s entire judicial system,” they added.
The group—all the GOP members on the House Oversight Committee—asked for all documents regarding any investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ), which Garland heads, or its law enforcement partners into the leak and a description of all potential laws that were violated by the person or persons who leaked the opinion.
They also want a description of all the actions the department is taking “to ensure the integrity of Supreme Court deliberations, prevent violence, and pursue the individual or individuals responsible for leaking the draft opinion” and a briefing by May 10 on the status of any investigations and whether criminal charges are being considered.
“This leak is a blatant violation of the confidentiality of all nine justices, and is a breach of trust that they can deliberate any case based on the merits rather than the inflamed fears of the woke mob,” Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), one of the members, said in a statement, adding that the DOJ “must work with the Supreme Court to investigate the leak.”
The DOJ and the Supreme Court did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), the chairwoman of the panel, did not return emailed questions asking if she supports the DOJ getting involved in the probe or launching its own investigation.
Earlier Tuesday, the court confirmed the leaked opinion was authentic. Chief Justice John Roberts called the leak a “betrayal” and directed the court’s marshal to launch a probe into the source of the leak.
Politico published the draft opinion in question on May 2. Authored by Justice Samuel Alito and described as a majority opinion, it would overturn Roe v. Wade if it is finalized and remains the opinion of the majority.
The opinion was dated Feb. 10 and the court says it does not represent a final decision or the final position of any member on the issues in the case, which is Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
Politico described its source as “a person familiar with the court’s proceedings.” Approximately 63 people are considered suspects.
Josh Gerstein, one of the Politico stories who wrote the story, said on MSNBC that neither he nor Politico had spoken to the marshal.
“When we published this story, we did what we could to preserve the sources’ anonymity as they requested, and will continue to try to do that,” Gerstein said.
Hans Von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, told The Epoch Times that Roberts should ask the FBI to assist in the investigation.
“Roberts, as part of his investigation to find out who did this, needs to get recommendations from the marshal of the court and the FBI on anything that can be done to strengthen the security protocols of the court,” he added.
The FBI did not immediately return an inquiry.
Mark Tapscott contributed to this report.