Last year, Congressional Research Service published a thorough guide to statute of limitations terms for federal crimes. Since SAA’s bound to be looking again at restrictions on access in light of the president’s mild-mannered post about BC’s shenanigans, it might be of some use to see how restrictions on access already protect donors from unwitting confession of certain crimes:
You could release your donor’s financial records after six years plus one day, even if he’s nervous about having committed the following crimes:
If you’ve got oral histories from the Klan, you’d really better sit on those for seven years plus one day, to allow these bad boys to expire:
Sure their friends are maybe in jail, but every hate crime carries dozens of unindicted co-conspirators. Some of those people have to be family history buffs.
Keep papers closed for eight years plus one day for pipeline tampering (49 U.S.C. 60123(b)), aircraft piracy (49 U.S.C. 46502), going to work on nuclear weapons at Natanz (18 U.S.C. 832), or kidnapping congressmen (18 U.S.C. 351).
It’s ten years and a day for all kinds of embezzlement and bank fraud, but also for:
It would be immensely helpful if we could rationalize federal statutes of limitations to eliminate the 20-year period for violations of 18 U.S.C. 668 (major art theft). Make it life or ten years, please.
Ah yes, life. For heinous crimes, other than slave trafficking or recruiting child soldiers I guess, there is no statute of limitations. So if the guys in your oral history collections ever committed:
or the strangely phrased
don’t worry, you can always rely on archivists’ privilege.