Supreme Court Bars Immunity For Gravel in Pentagon Probe

Senator Mike Gravel (D-Alaska) lost his fight Tuesday for immunity from the Boston Federal Grand Jury probe of the Pentagon Papers Case.

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to reconsider Gravel's argument that he and his aide. Leonard S. Rodberg, have Congressional immunity from outside inquiry. The decision made both men subject to subpoena in the Boston Grand Jury's investigation of the leaking of the Pentagon Papers.

Gravel, through Rodberg, negotiated the publication of the papers with Beacon Press. The government had tried to compel Rodberg's testimony concerning how Gravel obtained a copy of the papers. When Gravel argued for Rodberg's immunity from subpoena. The ensuing legal light caused the probe to be suspended.

Asked to Reconsider

Gravel has asked the Court to reconsider its June 20 ruling arguing that the participation of Justice William H. Rehnquist was improper because he was a member of the justice Department at the beginning of the Pentagon Papers investigation.


The testimony obtained by the Boston Grand jury could be used in the trial of Daniel Ellsberg '52 in Los Angeles.

No Harm to Ellsberg

Harvey Silverglade one of Gravel's attorneys during the Boston hearings, said the decision is not likely to benefit Ellsberg's prosecutors. Silverglade said, Gravel, through his lawyers, made it clear to the Supreme Court that he did not receive his copy of the Pentagon Papers, from Ellsberg.

Part of the charge facing Ellsberg is that he took government property of values." Silverglade claims that above legal costs. Beacon Press paid nothing for the right to print the papers. "The government appears to be barking up the wrong tree." Silverglade remarked.