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DOJ's Quiet Concession

May 12, 2014, The National Law Journal

Covington's Steve Fagell is quoted regarding federal law that states it is a crime to "knowingly and willfully" give false statements in any matter under federal jurisdiction. The Justice Department has announced that to make the case that a defendant acted willfully, the government must prove that he or she knew the statement was unlawful. 

"Steven Fagell of Covington & Burling, a former top official in the Justice Department's Criminal Division, said the policy shift is likely to prompt "front end" changes in how government representatives interview individuals, to make it clear beforehand that lying is illegal." 

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