The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, protecting the secrecy of federal grand jury proceedings, permit limited disclosure of grand jury materials. Courts have differed on the standard of need grand jury witnesses must show to access prior testimony transcripts. In In re Grand Jury, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit considered whether a strong showing of particularized need standard should apply to grand jury witnesses seeking access to, not copies of, prior testimony transcripts. The First Circuit, following a United States District Court for the District of Columbia decision, established a less demanding particularized need requirement for grand jury witnesses seeking only access and not a copy of prior testimony transcripts.
In May 2008, the government subpoenaed the appellant, a non-target witness, to testify before a Massachusetts federal grand jury. Responding to the appellant’s indication that he would assert his constitutional right against self-incrimination, the government granted him use immunity under 18 U.S.C. §§ 6002 & 6003, requiring the appellant to testify. Appearing before the grand jury in June 2008, the appellant testified for approximately three hours and fifteen minutes on “highly technical and ancient subject matter.” Three assistant U.S. attorneys questioned the appellant, sometimes repetitively, and the prosecutors warned him on several occasions not to testify falsely. The government did not complete the examination, and ordered the appellant to return to complete his testimony. . .