When federal prosecutors can't muster enough evidence to bring charges against a person suspected of a crime, they can still use a controversial law to get a conviction anyway: They charge the person with lying.
The law against lying—known in legal circles simply as "1001"—makes it a crime to knowingly make a material false statement in matters of federal jurisdiction. Critics across the political spectrum argue that 1001, a widely used statute in the federal criminal code, is open to abuse. It is charged hundreds of times a year, according to court records and interviews with lawyers and legal scholars.
Wouldn't it be great to charge our most egregious politicians under this statute? I'm thinking of several very public, very obvious lies by our
Barack Obama pressing for Congress to pass Obamacare: "We will start by reducing premiums by as much as $2,500 per family." (And to avoid the charge of cherry-picking this promise, he is on record repeating this diabolical claim on 20 separate occasions).
• Nancy Pelosi, claiming that Obamacare would not allow federal funds to pay for abortions: "I want the record to show... the law of the land is there is no public funding for abortion. There is no public funding for abortions in these bills."
Let me repeat the operative sentence: The law against lying makes it a crime to knowingly make a material false statement in matters of federal jurisdiction.
What's more material than your own health care, already ravaged by price controls and other governmental interventions?
Quick - where's a federal prosecutor? I'm sure Eric Holder is preparing charges as we speak.