The Court carefully considered defendant's contention respecting the requirement of 'probable cause' for issuance of a Congressional summons, and the relevancy of the confidential letter to the issues of this case. The application for production of the letter was denied at trial and the Court is convinced that such ruling was proper in light of the law applicable to this case and the nature of the letter, as well as its relevancy, in this matter.
The Court has examined at length the authorities bearing upon the extent of the investigative powers of the Congress. The extent of the power has been defined in authoritative decisions by the Supreme Court written after prolonged deliberation.
There can be no doubt about the power of Congress, and its committees, to investigate as a necessary attribute of the duty and authority to legislate. McGrain v. Daugherty, 1927, 273 U.S. 135, 47 S. Ct. 319, 71 L. Ed. 580; Sinclair v. United States, 1929, 279 U.S. 263, 49 S. Ct. 268, 73 L. Ed. 692. And, such investigative power has been characterized as being 'co-extensive with the power to legislate',
subject to the limitations imposed by the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution
and the right of privacy in matters unrelated to a valid legislative purpose.
There is a complete want of precedent for the proposition defendant urges, which in simplest terms would limit the powers of a duly authorized committee of the Congress, in conducting an inquiry for a legitimate legislative purpose, by permitting such committee, and hence Congress itself, to compel the attendance and testimony of only such witnesses as the Courts might judicially determine were 'reasonably expected to be in possession of pertinent information'. The doctrine of 'separation of powers' and a rightful regard for the authority of the legislative branch of government refutes a judicial evaluation of those matters which clearly are within the discretion of the Congress which alone is responsible for the exercise of the authority from which the disputed power arises.
The established limitations upon the Congressional investigative powers, which require a legislative purpose and inquiries pertinent thereto, provide ample protection to the private affairs of witnesses appearing before duly authorized committees of the Congress. Barsky v. United States, 1948, 83 U.S.App.D.C. 127, 167 F.2d 241, certiorari denied, 1948, 334 U.S. 843, 68 S. Ct. 1511, 92 L. Ed. 1767; Quinn v. United States, supra; Barenblatt v. United States, D.C.Cir., 240 F.2d 875.
Beyond the fact that the Court does not find judicial power to determine what witnesses Congress may call in furtherance of its legislative purposes and compel pertinent testimony thereon, the record of this case discloses beyond any reasonable doubt that the subcommittee had information in its possession at the time defendant was initially summoned to appear before it which established a 'reasonable cause' for requiring his testimony. The subcommittee had information, apart from the confidential letter which indicated Communist infiltration into the New York Typographical Union and elements of the New York newspapers, including the one by which defendant was employed. In light of these facts, it was not only reasonable for the subcommittee to call the defendant and other employees from the press organization at which he worked, such a procedure by the subcommittee appeared expedient in furtherance of its express duties. Cf. Watkins v. United States, 1956, 98 U.S.App.D.C. 190, 233 F.2d 681, certiorari granted, 1956, 352 U.S. 822, 77 S. Ct. 62, 1 L. Ed. 2d 46; Barsky v. United States, supra.
The legislative purpose underlying the investigation and studies committed by the Senate to the committee is concisely expressed by the enabling resolutions. Legislation in the field of foreign subversion and infiltration by subversives in this country is clearly within the Congressional authority. Barenblatt v. United States, supra; Barsky v. United States, supra.
The defendant's contention that the Government failed to establish that any precise question, within the authority of the subcommittee, was under inquiry at the time in issue, is not established by the evidence in this case. The statement of the Chairman of the subcommittee at the commencement of the hearings in which defendant appeared in Washington, D.C., and testified, clearly show that the subcommittee was then engaged in attempting to ascertain the extent and nature of Communist infiltration into news dispensing agencies.
Such an inquiry is manifestly within the duties imposed upon the subcommittee by the enabling resolutions, and the authority of the subcommittee is measured by only the enabling resolutions creating it and charging it with specific duties.
The scope of a given hearing by a duly authorized subcommittee must be confined to those matters fairly within the delegated authority; beyond that, the subcommittee is not confined to a categorical subject within the area delegated to it pursuant to law. Cf. United States v. Knowles, D.C.D.C.1957, 148 F.Supp. 832. The Court finds that the hearing in question dealt with the existence and extent of subversive infiltration in the news media and was within the authority of the subcommittee. The Court also finds that defendant was fully aware of the precise subject under inquiry by the subcommittee at the time of his appearance before it in Washington, D.C., as evidenced by his prepared statement objecting to the jurisdiction of the subcommittee.
Defendant's contention that the hearing before the subcommittee on January 6, 1956, was not shown to have been pursuant to the authority set out in the indictment is contrary to the evidence. The Government placed the pertinent resolutions and minutes in the record. These documents show the original authority of the Committee on the Judiciary from the United States Senate (Senate Res. 366, 81st Congress, 2nd Session), the continuation of that committee's original authority to the time in question, and the authority of the subcommittee, as well as its composition, at the time in question. This evidence is adequate in all respects to show the authority of the subcommittee to act in the premises beyond a reasonable doubt.
The contention of the defendant that the hearing at which he testified and from which the indictment arose was not in furtherance of a legislative purpose proceeds on the assumption that a failure to have specific legislation in contemplation, or a failure to show that legislation was in fact redacted, establishes an absence of legislative purpose. This argument is patently unsound. The investigative power of Congress is not subject to the limitation that hearings must result in legislation or recommendations for legislation. See In re Chapman, 1897, 166 U.S. 661, 17 S. Ct. 677, 41 L. Ed. 1154; Townsend v. United States, 1938, 68 App.D.C. 223, 95 F.2d 352; Barsky v. United States, 1948, supra. The evidence defendant introduced to support his contention that a non-legislative purpose prompted the subject hearings is wanting in probative value and wholly insufficient to cast a doubt upon the true Congressional purpose underlying the delegation of the authority to the subcommittee or the purpose of the subcommittee in conducting the hearing in question. Indeed, where the subcommittee proceeds within the authority lawfully delegated to it by Congress, it would appear doubtful that want of legislative purpose could be established. Cf. United States v. Josephson, 2 Cir., 1947, 165 F.2d 82, 89, certiorari denied 1948, 333 U.S. 838, 68 S. Ct. 609, 92 L. Ed. 1122; Barsky v. United States, supra. The Court finds that the hearings in question were, beyond a reasonable doubt, conducted in furtherance of a legislative purpose and within an area subject to the legislative powers of the Congress. See Barenblatt v. United States, supra.
The statute under which defendant is charged
is said to be so vague and indefinite, when read in conjunction with the enabling resolutions defining the authority of the subcommittee, as to deprive a defendant appearing before the subcommittee of due process of law. The statute in question has been judicially construed in many cases, the meaning to be attached to the words appearing in the provision is clear.
The statute itself is neither vague nor indefinite in its proscriptions and mandates.
Where a witness appearing before a committee of the Congress is fully apprised of the extent of the authority of the body, and is in fact fully apprised of the precise subject, within the committee's authority, which is then under inquiry, as was the defendant in this instance, the duty of the witness is clear. Any question pertinent to the matter under inquiry must be answered, except insofar as the Fifth Amendment may provide justification for a refusal to answer. United States v. Rosen, supra; Quinn v. United States, supra. The contention of statutory vagueness is without merit.
The question which constitutes Count Three of the indictment is not pertinent to the subject established by the evidence to have been under inquiry at the time defendant testified. This count of the indictment will therefore be dismissed. Upon the evidence adduced at trial, it is the judgment of the Court that the defendant is guilty as charged in Counts One and Two of the indictment beyond a reasonable doubt. The verdict will be entered, the present bond of the defendant continued pending sentence. The cause will be referred to the Probation Officer for investigation and report, upon completion of which defendant will be advised of the date to appear for sentencing.