Minnesota federal district court judge Patrick Schiltz has undertaken an investigation into the leak of grand jury information bearing on the civil rights charges against Derek Chauvin and his fellow officers. I first wrote about it in “The Chauvin leaks: Judge Schiltz’s order” and subsequently in the series of which this is part 5.
I have been particularly interested in the leak that formed the basis Star Tribune reporter Andy Mannix’s April 29 story reporting the then forthcoming indictments. The Star Tribune itself has shown no interest in the story since Rochelle Olson’s initial report.
As of June 18, the United States Attorney for Minnesota and the Office of the Minnesota Attorney General had filed responses to Judge Schiltz’s order. They also appeared in court before Judge Schiltz for a status conference on June 30. In that all filings and proceedings have been sealed, it’s a difficult story to cover. I wrote Judge Schiltz’s chambers by email this morning:
Dear Judge Schiltz: I am writing as a member of the media covering this matter for the site Power Line and not as an attorney (retired from practice, but with an active law license). Since your original order in this matter, all proceedings and filings in the case have been under seal. I understand the interests that are to be protected by this arrangement, but there is of course a public interest in the proceedings as well. I write to ask whether the parties’ papers might be unsealed in redacted form consistent with the interests to be protected or whether you yourself might summarize the status of this matter in a public memorandum.
Thank you as always for your courtesies and consideration.
Judge Schiltz responded by letter this afternoon. He advised that the filings cannot be meaningfully redacted. The matter is ongoing. He promises to monitor future filings with the right of public access in mind. I thought that readers might find this of interest.