The Ninth Circuit has determined that Oregon's witness tampering statute is not a categorical match to the definition of a crime involving moral turpitude. The plain text of the statute permits conviction if (1) a person induces or attempts to induce a person who is or may be called as a witness in official proceeding to offer false testimony; (2) a person induces or attempts to induce a person who is or may be called as a witness to unlawfully withhold any testimony; or (3) a person knowingly induces or attempts to induce a person to be absent from an official proceeding when the person was legally summoned.
The statute does not suggest fraud, which the Court has defined as requiring that an individual employ false statements to obtain something tangible. Neither impeding law enforcement nor wrongfully interfering with the administration of justice constitutes a tangible “benefit” for purposes of determining whether a crime involves fraudulent intent. In addition, the statute does not involve an intent to injure another, an actual injury to another, or a protected class of victim. Thus, the statute is overbroad.
"We conclude that the statute is divisible. Although both subsections (a) and (b) define the offense of witness tampering in Oregon, the subsections criminalize different conduct and require different elements for conviction." It is thus clear from the face of the indictment and the plea agreement that Vasquez-Valle’s conviction tracked subsection (b) (inducing a person to be absent from an official proceeding). The Court deemed this subsection not to be a crime involving moral turpitude.
The full text of Vasquez-Valle v. Sessions can be found here: