Jeff Rosen has a sharp review in the New York Times of a new book by veteran business writer James Stewart entitled “Tangled Webs: How False Statements Are Undermining America: From Martha Stewart to Bernie Madoff”:
Although Stewart, now a business columnist for The New York Times, claims that lying has been on the rise, a more plausible thesis is that prosecutions for false statements have been rising — not because of growing contempt for the truth but because defendants are increasingly prosecuted for doing nothing more than denying their guilt to investigators. (These are the kinds of lies that courts used to excuse under a doctrine called the exculpatory no.) It wasn’t until the post-Watergate era that prosecutors began routinely to indict people not merely for lying under oath but for lying to federal officials even when not under oath — using a novel law that is the basis for several of the prosecutions Stewart celebrates.
(& Bad Lawyer)