Serial 1638

United States Government

Date: December 15, 1978

To: Philip B. Heymann
Assistant Attorney General
Criminal Division

From: Benjamin R. Civiletti
Deputy Attorney General

Subject: New York Times Article – December 14, 1978

I don’t know the underlying facts so I won’t comment on the merits, but the appearance and the halt in the grand jury proceedings isn’t good. I know you have devoted a lot of personal attention to this very complicated matter and I know that Mike Abbell is coordinating it full-time. If you need to issue any special directions to affected United States Attorneys or of any issues which need resolution by me concerning actions or conduct, please don’t hesitate to bring them to my attention.

Although we must do everything within legitimate law enforcement reason to thoroughly investigate pursuant to our jurisdiction, we must be particularly careful to exercise sound judgment in the manner and method by which the investigation is conducted. I know you are in personal communication with Billy Hunter, and I hope Mike is on top of United States Attorneys’ activities as well as investigatory activities.

cc: Director, FBI

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[New York Times article, December 14, 1978, headlined “US Judge Postpones Inquiry by Grand Jury Into Murder of Ryan”]