Las Vegas newspaper to comply with subpoena
LAS VEGAS (AP) – A Nevada newspaper reported Wednesday it will comply with a narrowed federal grand jury subpoena seeking information about authors of two Web site comments about a criminal tax trial.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal said the U.S. attorney’s office in Las Vegas reduced its demand for information to “two comments that might be construed as threatening to jurors or prosecutors.”
One called jury members “12 dummies” and said they “should be hung” if they convict Las Vegas business owner Robert Kahre on charges of defrauding the Internal Revenue Service with a scheme involving gold and silver U.S. coins.
The other, since deleted from the newspaper Web site, offered a bet that one of the federal prosecutors in the case wouldn’t reach his next birthday.
Federal prosecutors told U.S. District Judge David Ezra they had issued a June 2 grand jury subpoena out of concern for juror safety. Ezra is presiding at the trial of Kahre and three others facing charges of tax evasion, fraud and criminal conspiracy.
Review-Journal Editor Thomas Mitchell said the June 2 subpoena, seeking author data about 100 Web posts, was overly broad and would likely to chill public debate on an important topic.
Mitchell on Wednesday credited prosecutors with scaling back their initial request, adding, “We will give them what we have, which frankly isn’t much, since most postings are anonymous.”
The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada late Tuesday filed its own motion to stop the release of any identities, contending the original subpoena was unconstitutional.