28 CFR 16.26: Considerations in determining whether production or disclosure should be made pursuant to a demand.
(a) In deciding whether to make disclosures pursuant to a demand, Department officials and attorneys should consider:
(1) Whether such disclosure is appropriate under the rules of procedure governing the case or matter in which the demand arose, and
(2) Whether disclosure is appropriate under the relevant substantive law concerning privilege.
(b) Among the demands in response to which disclosure will not be made by any Department official are those demands with respect to which any of the following factors exist:
(1) Disclosure would violate a statute, such as the income tax laws, 26 U.S.C. 6103 and 7213, or a rule of procedure, such as the grand jury secrecy rule, F.R.Cr.P., Rule 6(e),
(2) Disclosure would violate a specific regulation;
(3) Disclosure would reveal classified information, unless appropriately declassified by the originating agency,
(4) Disclosure would reveal a confidential source or informant, unless the investigative agency and the source or informant have no objection,
(5) Disclosure would reveal investigatory records compiled for law enforcement purposes, and would interfere with enforcement proceedings or disclose investigative techniques and procedures the effectiveness of which would thereby be impaired,
(6) Disclosure would improperly reveal trade secrets without the owner's consent.
(c) In all cases not involving considerations specified in paragraphs (b)(1) through (b)(6) of this section, the Deputy or Associate Attorney General will authorize disclosure unless, in that person's judgment, after considering paragraph (a) of this section, disclosure is unwarranted. The Deputy or Associate Attorney General will not approve disclosure if the circumstances specified in paragraphs (b)(1) through (b)(3) of this section exist. The Deputy or Associate Attorney General will not approve disclosure if any of the conditions in paragraphs (b)(4) through (b)(6) of this section exist, unless the Deputy or Associate Attorney General determines that the administration of justice requires disclosure. In this regard, if disclosure is necessary to pursue a civil or criminal prosecution or affirmative relief, such as an injunction, consideration shall be given to:
(1) The seriousness of the violation or crime involved,
(2) The past history or criminal record of the violator or accused,
(3) The importance of the relief sought,
(4) The importance of the legal issues presented,
(5) Other matters brought to the attention of the Deputy or Associate Attorney General.
(d) Assistant Attorneys General, U.S. Attorneys, the Director of the EOUST, U.S. Trustees, and their designees, are authorized to issue instructions to attorneys and to adopt supervisory practices, consistent with this subpart, in order to help foster consistent application of the foregoing standards and the requirements of this subpart.