authorized to do so. The Court, therefore, reaches the conclusion that the perjury statute applies to false testimony given before Congressional committees and is not limited to false testimony given before a judicial tribunal
The defendant also attacks the indictment as a pleading, and challenges the sufficiency of the allegations contained therein. The rules of criminal pleading were drastically changed and simplified by the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, which became effective in 1946, 18 U.S.C.A.following section 687. Rule 7(c) provides that an indictment shall be a plain, concise and definite written statement of the essential facts constituting the offense charged, and need not contain a formal commencement, a formal conclusion, or any other matter not necessary to such statement.
This Court had occasion to construe the rule in the case of United States v. Starks.
The test of the sufficiency of an indictment is twofold: First, does it adequately apprize the defendant of the charge which he is called upon to meet? And, second, does it set forth the charge with sufficient definiteness in order to enable the defendant successfully to interpose a plea of double jeopardy if he is prosecuted again on the same accusation
The principal objections advanced against the indictment by the defendant are twofold. First, it is alleged that the perjury indictment, which consists of three counts, does not sufficiently set forth the alleged false testimony given by the defendant. Each of the counts purports to aver a statement said to have been made by the defendant in the course of his testimony. It is also alleged that the statement was false. The indictment goes further and sets forth what the true facts were. It seems to me that these averments are sufficient to apprize the defendant of the charges that he is called upon to meet, and to enable him successfully to plead double jeopardy in the remote contingency that he might be called upon to meet the same charge at another time.
It is also contended that there is no sufficient showing in the indictment that the alleged false statements were material to the inquiry the Subcommittee was conducting. Under the old system of criminal pleading it was customary to set forth in detail in a perjury indictment how and why the particular question addressed to the witness was material. It is not necessary to determine whether this course was necessary or merely customary. Assuming, without deciding, that at common law such allegations were essential, the view of this Court is that such averments are no longer required under the new Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. All that is indispensable now is a plain, concise and definite written statement of the essential facts that constitute the offense charged. There is an allegation in the indictment that the testimony sought to be elicited from the defendant was material to the inquiry. Whether it was is a matter of proof, and, of course, at the trial it will be necessary for the Government to establish the materiality of the subject matter. It is the view of this Court that under the new Rules, a general allegation of materiality is sufficient in an indictment for perjury or subornation of perjury.
In the light of these considerations, the Court deems the indictments sufficient and will deny the motions to dismiss.