Minnesota federal district court Judge Patrick Schiltz has ordered an investigation of apparent leaks of grand jury information to the New York Times and the Star Tribune. I posted his five-page In Re Blue Grand Jury order here. The subject is serious. Moreover, knowing Judge Schiltz, I think he will treat it with the seriousness his order suggests it deserves.
The Star Tribune published Rochelle Olson’s May 21 story on the order without more. It is a story in which the Star Tribune itself is a player. Reporter Andy Mannix’s source for the underlying story is highly likely guilty of serious professional misconduct, though one would have no idea from Mannix’s April 29 story.
The lack of follow-up is understandable insofar as the Star Tribune is a protagonist and an understanding of its performance places it in a light that is not altogether flattering. One might want more, but more will not be forthcoming on its initiative. I have focused my own attention on it in notes for which I can find an occasion.
Yesterday the acting United States Attorney for Minnesota filed his response to Judge Schiltz’s In re Blue Grand Jury order. Via the PACER electronic filing system I learn that he filed the response under seal. It is not publicly accessible. I infer, perhaps overoptimistically, that the response said something more than that “we know nothing.” I hope to have more to add before too long.