Christoffel v. United States - 338 U.S. 84 (1949)


U.S. Supreme Court

Christoffel v. United States, 338 U.S. 84 (1949)

Christoffel v. United States

No. 528

Argued April 20, 1949

Decided June 27, 1949

338 U.S. 84

Syllabus

For alleged perjurious testimony before a Committee of the House of Representatives, petitioner was convicted under the perjury statute of the District of Columbia (§ 22-2501 of the D.C.Code), which makes it an essential element of the offense that it shall have been committed before "a competent tribunal." The Committee in question had a membership of twenty-five. Although evidence was adduced at the trial from which a jury might have concluded that, at the time of the alleged perjurious testimony, less than a quorum of the Committee were in attendance, the trial court, in its charge, allowed the jury to find a quorum present simply by finding that thirteen or more members were in attendance when the Committee was convened.

Held: so much of the instructions to the jury as allowed them to find a quorum present without reference to the facts at the time of the alleged perjurious testimony was erroneous, and the judgment of conviction must be reversed. P. 338 U. S. 85-90.

84 U.S.App.D.C. 132, 171 F.2d 1004, reversed.

Petitioner was convicted of perjury under the perjury statute of the District of Columbia ( 22-2501 of the D.C.Code) for alleged perjurious testimony before a Committee of the House of Representatives. The Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction. 84 U.S.App.D.C. 132, 171 F.2d 1004. This Court granted certiorari. 336 U.S. 934. Reversed, p. 338 U. S. 90.

Page 338 U. S. 85



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