To convict someone of perjury, I would think it must be proved that in a statement under oath either

  • they knowingly said something untruthful, or
  • they knowingly told less than the whole truth, or
  • both.

What percent of convictions for perjury fall into each of those three groups?

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    I really doubt anyone keeps stats on this sort of thing, frankly. – D M Apr 19 '18 at 18:17

100% of perjury convictions are for the first category. The "whole truth" requirement is gone, following Bronston v. United States, 409 U.S. 352. If you say something that is literally untrue, you can be convicted of perjury. Hence "there is no sex" is a literally truthful and non-perjurous statement, even when the question was about sex in the past. The attorney pursuing a line of questioning is expected to pay attention to what a person says, and detect whether they only answered part of the question.

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    That seems definitive at the federal level, but it doesn't necessarily preclude a state court finding differently, I think. – D M Apr 19 '18 at 19:50
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    @DM not to mention other countries besides the US, since the question does not specify any jurisdiction whatsoever. – phoog Apr 19 '18 at 20:39
  • @user6726: The "there is no sex" does remind me of Bill Clinton's famous utterance. Legally speaking, the statement "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" was not a lie... at the time, D.C. law did not count the specific act Bill did as a sexual act. However, the court of public opinion still laughs at him for that statement to this day. – hszmv Apr 20 '18 at 17:08

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