So I was reading Bill Safliar, former paid mouthpiece for the criminal gang of Nixon and Agnew, and he quoted the United States Code (which he calls the criminal code):
"Whoever, having devised any scheme or artifice to defraud transmits or causes to be transmitted by means of wire, radio or television communication in interstate or foreign commerce, any writings for the purpose of executing such scheme or artifice, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both. " U.S. Criminal Code, Chapter 63, Section 1343
I thought I had Safire nailed on the crime of quoting without using ellipses, but the print version of the column includes the ellipses.
The full text of 18 U.S.C. 1343 is here. It says:
Whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, transmits or causes to be transmitted by means of wire, radio, or television communication in interstate or foreign commerce, any writings, signs, signals, pictures, or sounds for the purpose of executing such scheme or artifice, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both. If the violation affects a financial institution, such person shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.
Safliar wants to use this statute to prosecute the purported forger of the Killian memos. I see several problems with Safliar's theory, including the difficulty of meeting the requirements of: an intent to defraud, the transmission of material in interstate commerce, and the alleged forger's transmission of material via wire, radio or television. (Safliar doesn't even bother to make the case for these requirements.) However, I don't know whether courts have interpreted the law as broadly as Saffy would like, and I'm not getting paid enough to do that research.
I admit I wouldn't mind seeing this novel legal theory tried out on, say, William Safire himself. After all, Safliar's lies are transmitted by wire (the one at the other end of your computer). Perhaps that's why Bill isn't so eager to have the law applied to CBS itself. I doubt he'd enjoy sharing a cell with Drudge.