that essential to foreclose executive control of legislative speech or debate and associated matters such as voting and committee reports and proceedings." Id. at 620.
"Legislative acts," then, it appears, even those corruptly done, are endowed with Speech or Debate Clause immunity; otherwise Members of Congress remain as amenable to the processes of the law as anyone else, unless, of course, Congress has by statute exempted them.
The leading case in this jurisdiction to address the separation of powers, the Speech or Debate Clause, and the definition of a "legislative act" as they relate to the question of the vulnerability of a Member of Congress to judicial sanctions for EIGA violations is United States v. Hansen, 566 F. Supp. 162 (D.D.C.), aff'd No. 83-1689 (D.C. Cir. Aug. 1, 1983) (unpublished order), cert. denied, 464 U.S. 1042, 79 L. Ed. 2d 173, 104 S. Ct. 709 (1984) (hereinafter "Hansen I").
Rep. Hansen was indicted criminally under the general false statements statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1001, for knowingly and willfully filing a false EIGA financial disclosure statement. Rep. Hansen argued pre-emptively, as Rep. Rose and the House leadership do here, that the Speech or Debate Clause operated to immunize him as a Member of Congress against prosecution.
The district court was unpersuaded by Rep. Hansen's contention that Congress' own constitutionally conferred power to discipline its membership, and its enactment of the legislation requiring the filing of financial disclosure reports, rendered the very act of filing such reports a "legislative act" and, as such, within the protection afforded the Speech or Debate Clause. Quoting from Brewster, 408 U.S. at 526, the Hansen I court observed that "'the question is whether it is necessary to inquire into how [defendant] spoke, who he debated, how he voted, or anything he did in the chamber or in committee in order to make out a violation of this statute.'" Hansen I at 170. The district court said:
This prosecution does not make it necessary to inquire into any of these areas because it only refers to defendant's statements on his financial disclosure report, statements which this Court holds are simply outside the deliberative and communicative functions of the House.
Id. at 170 [citing also United States v. Myers, 692 F.2d 823 (2d Cir. 1982), cert. denied, 461 U.S. 961 (1983)].
Hansen I was affirmed, albeit in an unpublished order, by the D.C. Circuit, and the Supreme Court declined to review on certiorari, leading this Court to conclude that the district court's decision was neither patently inconsistent with Circuit or Supreme Court precedent, nor contrary to Constitutional doctrine. Thus it would be prudent to follow Hansen I here, at least with respect to the Speech or Debate Clause issues the cases have in common, and the Court will do so.
For the foregoing reasons, therefore, it is, this 21st day of April, 1992,
ORDERED, that the defendant's motion to dismiss the complaint on the constitutional ground asserted is denied; and it is
FURTHER ORDERED, that all discovery, and all other proceedings herein, remain stayed pending the completion of proceedings on any timely appeal taken herefrom.
Thomas Penfield Jackson
U.S. District Judge