IRS

Issa: Lois Lerner Waived Her Rights With Statement

Pro tip: If you're going to shut up, just shut up

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House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa said embattled IRS official Lois Lerner waived her Fifth Amendment rights and will be hauled back to appear before his panel again.

The California Republican said Lerner's Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination was voided when she gave an opening statement this morning denying any wrongdoing and professing pride in her government service.

"When I asked her her questions from the very beginning, I did so so she could assert her rights prior to any statement," Issa told POLITICO. "She chose not to do so — so she waived."

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  1. It sounded to me that she wanted it both ways, but the law certainly isn’t always intuitive, and Issa probably isn’t a good one to make that decision.

    1. You would be right: Expert: Lois Lerner Didn’t Waive Her Right to Plead the Fifth. Note that the expert is James Duane, who gave the famous “Don’t Talk To The Police” lecture and video on the 5th Amendment.

      Had this been an actual criminal trial, in an actual courtroom, and had Lerner been an actual defendant, then yes, it would not have been permissible for her to testify in her own defense and then refuse cross-examination on Fifth Amendment grounds. But a congressional hearing is not a criminal trial in two important ways, Duane tells Daily Intelligencer.

      First, unlike in a trial, where she could choose to take the stand or not, Lerner had no choice but to appear before the committee. Second, in a trial there would be a justifiable concern about compromising a judge or jury by providing them with “selective, partial presentation of the facts.” But Congress is merely pursuing information as part of an investigation, not making a definitive ruling on Lerner’s guilt or innocence.

      1. “First, unlike in a trial, where she could choose to take the stand or not, Lerner had no choice but to appear before the committee.”
        Need cite

        “Second, in a trial there would be a justifiable concern about compromising a judge or jury by providing them with “selective, partial presentation of the facts.” But Congress is merely pursuing information as part of an investigation, not making a definitive ruling on Lerner’s guilt or innocence.”
        Not sure I see a difference.

        1. First, unlike in a trial, where she could choose to take the stand or not, Lerner had no choice but to appear before the committee.

          So what?

          Q: What is your name?
          A: I assert my 5th amendment right bla bla bla

          If you want to avoid questions, shut up.

  2. She takes the fifth, asks for immunity, takes the non-fall for her bosses and that is how that dog and pony show goes.

    1. Because every politician, EVERY POLITICIAN, needs the IRS/Treasury to fuel it’s bribery/blackmail/ponzi racket.

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