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8.11A Official Act — Defined

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(18 U.S.C. § 201(a)(3))


 "Official act" means any decision or action on a matter involving the formal exercise of governmental power. The matter must be pending, or be able by law to be brought, before a public official, and the official act must result in the making of a specific decision, taking of a specific action, or making of a specific omission. 

[The official’s decision or action may include using [his][her] official position to exert pressure on another official to perform an official act, or to advise another official, knowing or intending that such advice will form the basis for an official act by another official.] 

[Merely arranging a meeting, hosting an event, or giving a speech, do not qualify as the taking of a specific action.] 



This instruction is based on 18 U.S.C. § 201(a)(3) as construed in McDonnell v. United States, 136 S. Ct. 2355 (2016). 

When using this instruction with Model Instruction 8.143 (Hobbs Act—Extortion or Attempted Extortion Under Color of Official Right), change the term "official act" to "official action."

Approved 12/2016