TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
PART I - CRIMES
CHAPTER 73 - OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE
Sec. 1505. Obstruction of proceedings before departments, agencies,
Whoever, with intent to avoid, evade, prevent, or obstruct
compliance, in whole or in part, with any civil investigative
demand duly and properly made under the Antitrust Civil Process
Act, willfully withholds, misrepresents, removes from any place,
conceals, covers up, destroys, mutilates, alters, or by other means
falsifies any documentary material, answers to written
interrogatories, or oral testimony, which is the subject of such
demand; or attempts to do so or solicits another to do so; or
Whoever corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening
letter or communication influences, obstructs, or impedes or
endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper
administration of the law under which any pending proceeding is
being had before any department or agency of the United States, or
the due and proper exercise of the power of inquiry under which any
inquiry or investigation is being had by either House, or any
committee of either House or any joint committee of the Congress -
Shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years
or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as
defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or
(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 770; Pub. L. 87-664, Sec. 6(a),
Sept. 19, 1962, 76 Stat. 551; Pub. L. 91-452, title IX, Sec. 903,
Oct. 15, 1970, 84 Stat. 947; Pub. L. 94-435, title I, Sec. 105,
Sept. 30, 1976, 90 Stat. 1389; Pub. L. 97-291, Sec. 4(d), Oct. 12,
1982, 96 Stat. 1253; Pub. L. 103-322, title XXXIII, Sec.
330016(1)(K), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147; Pub. L. 108-458,
title VI, Sec. 6703(a), Dec. 17, 2004, 118 Stat. 3766.)
HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES
Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Sec. 241a, (Mar. 4, 1909,
ch. 321, Sec. 135a, as added Jan. 13, 1940, ch. 1, 54 Stat. 13;
June 8, 1945, ch. 178, Sec. 2, 59 Stat. 234).
Word "agency" was substituted for the words "independent
establishment, board, commission" in two instances to eliminate any
possible ambiguity as to scope of section. (See definitive section
6 of this title.)
Minor changes were made in phraseology.
REFERENCES IN TEXT
The Antitrust Civil Process Act, referred to in text, is Pub. L.
87-664, Sept. 19, 1962, 76 Stat. 548, as amended, which is
classified generally to chapter 34 (Sec. 1311 et seq.) of Title 15,
Commerce and Trade. For complete classification of this Act to the
Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1311 of Title 15
2004 - Pub. L. 108-458, which directed amendment of the third
undesignated paragraph of this section by substituting "be fined
under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the
offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in
section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both" for "be
fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or
both", was executed by making the substitution for "be fined under
this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both", to
reflect the probable intent of Congress.
1994 - Pub. L. 103-322 substituted "fined under this title" for
"fined not more than $5,000" in last par.
1982 - Pub. L. 97-291 struck out first two paragraphs which
provided, respectively, that whoever corruptly, or by threats or
force, or by any threatening letter or communication, endeavored to
influence, intimidate, or impede any witness in any proceeding
pending before any department or agency of the United States, or in
connection with any inquiry or investigation being had by either
House, or any committee of either House, or any joint committee of
the Congress, and whoever injured any party or witness in his
person or property on account of his attending or having attended
such proceeding, inquiry, or investigation, or on account of his
testifying or having testified to any matter pending therein, would
be subject to the penalty set forth in the last paragraph, and in
the fourth paragraph substituted "any pending" for "such" after
"law under which", and substituted "any" for "such" before
"department" and before "inquiry".
1976 - Pub. L. 94-435 struck out "section 1968 of this title"
after "Antitrust Civil Process Act", inserted "withholds,
misrepresents" after "willfully", "covers up" after "conceals",
"answers to written interrogatories, or oral testimony", after "any
documentary material", and "or attempts to do so or solicits
another to do so;" after "such demand".
1970 - Pub. L. 91-452 inserted reference to section 1968 of this
1962 - Pub. L. 87-664 substituted section catchline "Obstruction
of proceedings before departments, agencies, and committees" for
"Influencing or injuring witness before agencies and committees"
and punished the willful removal, concealment, destruction,
mutilation, alteration or falsification of documents which were the
subject of a demand under the Antitrust Civil Process Act if done
with the intent to prevent compliance with a civil investigative
EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1982 AMENDMENT
Amendment by Pub. L. 97-291 effective Oct. 12, 1982, see section
9(a) of Pub. L. 97-291, set out as an Effective Date note under
section 1512 of this title.
EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1976 AMENDMENT
Amendment by Pub. L. 94-435 effective Sept. 30, 1976, see section
106 of Pub. L. 94-435, set out as a note under section 1311 of
Title 15, Commerce and Trade.
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