Video: Lerner takes the Fifth — or did she?

posted at 12:41 pm on May 22, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Via Andrew Johnson at NRO, Lois Lerner’s decision to take the Fifth came as no surprise. What did come as a surprise was that Lerner actually started off by, er, testifying on her own behalf. Surprisingly, Lerner accepted Darrell Issa’s invitation to deliver an opening statement under oath, and then testified to the provenance of a transcript of her deposition to the Inspector General. Only at that point did Lerner plead the Fifth:

That poses a big question as to whether Lerner waived her Fifth Amendment rights to avoid self-incrimination.  Rep. Trey Gowdy argued that the law does not allow a witness to testify on her behalf and then refuse to answer any other questions:

After Lerner’s statements, Representative Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.) argued she “waved her right to Fifth Amendment privilege” by making those statements and urged that she stay and answer questions: ”You don’t get to tell your side of the story and then not be subjected to cross-examination.” Lerner was ultimately allowed to invoke her Fifth Amendment rights and leave the hearing.

Issa did allow Lerner to leave the hearing after asking her twice whether she’d be willing to answer questions on narrower grounds, to which Lerner twice refused.  However, Issa warned her she’d be subject to recall — and that the committee would be consulting counsel about her use of the Fifth Amendment.  I’d guess that nothing much will come of it, except perhaps to purge her opening statement from the record, but shouldn’t an attorney like Lerner have seen that trap coming a mile away?  It might explain how Lerner thought the question-plant strategy was a good idea, too.

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Lerner looks very bad in this, no matter how she and the LSM try to slice and spin it. She scored no ‘gotcha!’ on the committee, she didn’t help the media’s precious Obama, she didn’t help her bosses, and she’s still not off the hook.

If anything, she has become a liability that might end up being demoted or fired. Really — if you were her supervisor, would you trust her to do her job right and well enough so you don’t catch any heat because of her?

Liam on May 22, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Issa’s trap is a bit shady, as it is in bad faith to try to trick someone into giving up their fifth amendment rights.

Mister Mets on May 22, 2013 at 1:31 PM

Trap? Bad faith?

Its a Congressional investigation of corrupt and likely criminal activity. She is placed under oath. She has her own g****** lawyer.

How in the Hell you get “trap and “bad faith” out of that is beyond me.

Corrupt bitch has a stupid lawyer and she effed up. The end.

novaculus on May 22, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Issa’s trap is a bit shady, as it is in bad faith to try to trick someone into giving up their fifth amendment rights.

Mister Mets on May 22, 2013 at 1:31 PM

Trap? Bad faith?

Its a Congressional investigation of corrupt and likely criminal activity. She is placed under oath. She has her own g****** lawyer.

How in the Hell you get “trap and “bad faith” out of that is beyond me.

Corrupt b!tch has a stupid lawyer and she effed up. The end.

novaculus on May 22, 2013 at 1:41 PM

Who and what is she covering up?

albill on May 22, 2013 at 1:41 PM

Sorry for the double tap. Apparently I went into moderation briefly.

novaculus on May 22, 2013 at 1:41 PM

You can only see and read this on HA. Priorities I guess.
 
HotAirLib on May 22, 2013 at 12:52 PM

 
Thanks.

rogerb on May 22, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Hey guys, c’mon. She said she did nothing wrong or illegal. Why don’t you believe her? Just because she won’t answer questions proving her to be a liar, and just because she is being contemptuous and obstructive in order to keep the truth from coming out doesn’t mean she’s lying, does it……well does it?

/naive

NOMOBO on May 22, 2013 at 1:43 PM

I did nto hear her says-i think-that i invoke my 5th amendment rights-she just said she will not anser questions

gerrym51 on May 22, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Msdnc bashing gowdy on being clueless on the 5th
Issa has disappointed me in the past.. let’s hope he didn’t screw this up

cmsinaz on May 22, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Wouldn’t trust MSDNC to tell me the weather if they were standing outside.

I’ll wait and see how this falls out. We can hope together. ;)

kim roy on May 22, 2013 at 1:47 PM

I don’t understand how a public employee can “take the fifth” in relation to questions about what they did while on the payroll.

I can see taking it if they ask about things outside her IRS work, but about the work she actually performed? Wouldn’t the answer be “You will need to speak to X, who directed me to take that action”?

I don’t get it.

Snowblind on May 22, 2013 at 1:50 PM

Representative Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.) argued she “waved her right to Fifth Amendment privilege”

Since he said this out loud, not in writing, we should give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he knows the difference between “wave” and “waive”.

The Monster on May 22, 2013 at 1:55 PM

a snake acting snakey, go figure.

aceinstall on May 22, 2013 at 1:56 PM

IndieDogg on May 22, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Personally, I’d pay real money to see her targetted by the Cruz missile, let her try that garbage with him.

PJ Emeritus on May 22, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Here’s what I think is going down:

Lerner screwed-up. My bet is: Right now she’s being told she has waived all fifth amendment rights by submitting a testimony of her innocence without a cross-examination. She will now have to testify or face contempt charge and spend jail-time.

She’s probably sh!tting in the congressional lobby right now.

Turtle317 on May 22, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Who and what is she covering up?

albill on May 22, 2013 at 1:41 PM

Perhaps the FBI will ‘interview’ her to find out.

Jocundus on May 22, 2013 at 2:06 PM

As per the Fifth Amendment, “…, nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, …”

This investigation isn’t a criminal case. An investigation isn’t a criminal case.

Kevin R on May 22, 2013 at 2:07 PM

As per the Fifth Amendment, “…, nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, …”

This investigation isn’t a criminal case. An investigation isn’t a criminal case.

Kevin R on May 22, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Wrong. Testimony before Congress of the United States is just a civil matter? Excuse me, why did she feel compelled to invoke the Fifth Amendment if this is not a criminal case?

Turtle317 on May 22, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Ms. Lummis is wonderful.

Gov’t going after the people who employ the IRS and the entire gov’t.

The federal gov’t has turned against the people.

Goliath has turned against the people who hired them.

This will be a one good video.

Schadenfreude on May 22, 2013 at 2:16 PM

so she didn’t have to answer questions?

and why not?

someone help me here, i’m confused

r keller on May 22, 2013 at 2:19 PM

Well, Friedman did approach him to rub it in. But, it was such a loony idea to begin with.

Blake on May 22, 2013 at 1:57 PM

I guarantee Friedman wasn’t as cordial to Bloomberg as he claims to here. I certainly have no love for either of ‘em…but the mayor better watch out who he threatens in his waning days in office IYKWIMAITTYD.

JetBoy on May 22, 2013 at 2:20 PM

dammit…wrong thread.

JetBoy on May 22, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Kevin R on May 22, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Courts have ruled that the privilege extends to all testimony under oath that could expose the witness to later prosecution.

novaculus on May 22, 2013 at 2:23 PM

There is a 5th Amend right against compelled self-incrimination. There is NO blanket right not to testify. Witnesses have been held in contempt of court and have gone to jail for refusing to testify. (Remember Susan McDougal?) Her opening statement that she broke no laws and did nothing wrong is proof that she is simply refusing to testify as opposed to legitimately invoking her 5th Amend rights.

I don’t know if Issa has idiot lawyers, is an idiot himself, or just a coward. But letting this woman get away with this is a DISGRACE! At the very least she should have been asked a series of questions and had to invoke the 5th when refusing to answer each and every question. This is politics, optics is important. The morons out there not paying attention need to see that the Obama Administration is hiding something.

MPan on May 22, 2013 at 2:24 PM

Wrong. Testimony before Congress of the United States is just a civil matter? Excuse me, why did she feel compelled to invoke the Fifth Amendment if this is not a criminal case?

Turtle317 on May 22, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Is it a criminal case? It is not a criminal case. No one has been charged with a crime. It is a HEARING. A Hearing is to discover what happened. She has not been charged with a crime.

Kevin R on May 22, 2013 at 2:26 PM

Courts have ruled that the privilege extends to all testimony under oath that could expose the witness to later prosecution.

novaculus on May 22, 2013 at 2:23 PM

Ah! So that makes the entire civil vs. criminal matter a moot point. So, 1) she is under oath giving 2) testimony to the United States Congress of the United States.

Bam.

Turtle317 on May 22, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Ever go to a college football game and see the crowd batting a beach ball all around the stadium? Well, the Republicans now have three beach balls to keep in the air: Benghazi, IRS-gate, and spying on the “free” press. They need to be thinking now of the timeline for keeping these beach balls in the air from now through November 2014.

olesparkie on May 22, 2013 at 2:27 PM

To everyone parsing the fifth amendment thing — court has long held that you can invoke your right to remain silent at any time, and that even if you’re not named as a suspect in a criminal case, if you feel that someone you could say could be interpreted to make you a likely suspect, you can invoke right.

In other words, this is all over nothing. She could invoke fifth amendment mid sentence during an answer if she wanted to and there’s nothing congress can do about it (which I support.)

Timin203 on May 22, 2013 at 2:29 PM

Courts have ruled that the privilege extends to all testimony under oath that could expose the witness to later prosecution.

novaculus on May 22, 2013 at 2:23 PM

I see.

Kevin R on May 22, 2013 at 2:29 PM

Need to post to see comment updates….

TerryW on May 22, 2013 at 2:32 PM

I’m guessing that much more testimony is coming from underlings that will incriminate Lerner. I don’t think that Issa is done with her.

cajunpatriot on May 22, 2013 at 2:38 PM

In other words, this is all over nothing. She could invoke fifth amendment mid sentence during an answer if she wanted to and there’s nothing congress can do about it (which I support.)

Timin203 on May 22, 2013 at 2:29 PM

If so, then we could argue it is all about optics. Lerner injects in her originating statement, “I’m innocent,” and then invokes the Fifth to prevent cross-examination, in an attempt to make it impossible for the panel to continue questioning her without looking like a bunch of “ninnies” who would skate around Constitutional precedent just to “get at” her.

Turtle317 on May 22, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Timin203 on May 22, 2013 at 2:29 PM

Please cite authority. Because, frankly, you are dead wrong if you think a witness does not waive the privilege by choosing to testify.

novaculus on May 22, 2013 at 2:39 PM

The “bad” cops (those in Denver and Boulder counties) do it all the time, getting people to waive their 5th amendment rights by telling everything they can before they talk to an attorney.

kirkill on May 22, 2013 at 2:42 PM

Here’s what I think is going down:

Lerner screwed-up. My bet is: Right now she’s being told she has waived all fifth amendment rights by submitting a testimony of her innocence without a cross-examination. She will now have to testify or face contempt charge and spend jail-time.

She’s probably sh!tting in the congressional lobby right now.

Turtle317 on May 22, 2013 at 2:05 PM

You apparently live in that alternate universe in which the GOP has intestinal fortitude.

hawksruleva on May 22, 2013 at 2:45 PM

While they can’t compel her to testify against herself they can certainly compel her to testify against others.

claudius on May 22, 2013 at 2:45 PM

You apparently live in that alternate universe in which the GOP has intestinal fortitude.

hawksruleva on May 22, 2013 at 2:45 PM

Guilty as charged… er no! I invoke the Fifth!

Turtle317 on May 22, 2013 at 2:46 PM

To everyone parsing the fifth amendment thing — court has long held that you can invoke your right to remain silent at any time, and that even if you’re not named as a suspect in a criminal case, if you feel that someone you could say could be interpreted to make you a likely suspect, you can invoke right.

In other words, this is all over nothing. She could invoke fifth amendment mid sentence during an answer if she wanted to and there’s nothing congress can do about it (which I support.)

Timin203 on May 22, 2013 at 2:29 PM

Makes sense but..
She claimed innocence and affirmed that previous testamony (to the IG?) was hers. If the facts come out that she lied, would she be liable for perjury of some sort?

TerryW on May 22, 2013 at 2:47 PM

Makes sense but..
She claimed innocence and affirmed that previous testamony (to the IG?) was hers. If the facts come out that she lied, would she be liable for perjury of some sort?

TerryW on May 22, 2013 at 2:47 PM

I would think so. Her opening statement was, in fact, testimony. I think there’s already enough on the record to charge her with perjury.

Unfortunately, we’re not Democrats, we don’t press every charge we can find against our political opponents. If Scooter Libby had been a lib, he’d be an respected network commentator, and would never have been charged with anything.

hawksruleva on May 22, 2013 at 2:50 PM

I believe Issa and Gowdy know what they are doing.

Lerner may be negotiating immunity behind the scenes.

matthew8787 on May 22, 2013 at 2:50 PM

I don’t know about Congressional investigations, but if Lerner had done this in front of a grand jury, it would be an epic screwup. As follows;

1. She testifies under oath she has committed no wrongdoing. This is a standard ploy in an effort by someone potentially under indictment to get off with a “no true bill”.

2. But then, she refuses to answer any further questions citing her right against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment.

Most judges sitting in review over a grand jury proceeding would immediately respond with a contempt citation, and warn the witness and their counsel that further pursuit of this course could result in perjury charges. You see, if they have already stated no wrongdoing, under oath, then they have nothing to hide. If they take the Fifth after that point, that is considered prima facie evidence that they have committed an offense, and/or do have “guilty knowledge”, either of which makes their original statement under oath a falsehood. Hence the contempt citing and possible perjury charge.

The initial statement would have to be very carefully phrased to avoid such a response from the bench. Something along the lines of, not saying anything about what the witness might have been aware of someone else doing, as opposed to their own actions. The technical term for this is “tap-dancing in a minefield”.

The committee has two possible courses at this point;

1. Recall Lerner, explain this to her and her counsel, and then give her a choice; come clean, or be cited for contempt and charged with perjury re her original statement. Or

2. Bring her back in, issue a blanket immunity, and then tell her,

You are henceforth immune from prosecution for any and all actions regarding the matter in question. As such, you cannot legally incriminate yourself. However, you can be held in contempt, and charged with both perjury and obstruction of justice, if you don’t talk. Your choice.

clear ether

eon

eon on May 22, 2013 at 2:53 PM

For those that insist one can assert one’s 5th Amendment privilege at any time, the scope of this right applies to pre-court statements/communicative acts, not to actions while in court. This is usually found in the context of Miranda warning violations/waivers/non-waivers. Once the accused takes the stand, they cannot assert their 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination. Once you choose to testify, you cannot pick and choose which questions you will answer and which ones you will refuse to answer based upon the 5th Amendment.

Witnesses, however, may selectively assert their 5th Amendment rights. The accused never can. So, the question in this case is whether this woman is the accused or an accused, or is just a witness. Remember, however, witnesses can be compelled to testify via subpoena, while criminal defendants cannot.

For the curious, 5th Amendment privilege can be asserted in connection with civil proceedings as well. The only difference is that a civil jury can draw whatever inferences it pleases in such instances, where a criminal jury cannot infer that the person asserting the privilege is guilty of the crime charged or any crime, for that matter.

Hope this clears things up for everyone.

totherightofthem on May 22, 2013 at 2:54 PM

I believe Issa and Gowdy know what they are doing.

Lerner may be negotiating immunity behind the scenes.

matthew8787 on May 22, 2013 at 2:50 PM

I can buy into that scenario. All you have to do is say something like, “If you don’t sing, someone else will, and it will be too late for you.”

Meanwhile Obama lines up OSHA to inspect Lerner’s workplace for “serious safety violations that may have occurred under her management.”

Turtle317 on May 22, 2013 at 2:54 PM

Rep. Gowdy is correct about a trial, you can’t choose which questions to answer – BUT he is wrong that you can’t assert the 5th at any point. It is from the moment you assert that you can’t start answering some questions, though.

However, the taxpayer should not be required to pay an employee who refuses to testify before Congress about her official activities. Cut her off now, and demand a special prosecutor.

Adjoran on May 22, 2013 at 2:57 PM

To everyone parsing the fifth amendment thing — court has long held that you can invoke your right to remain silent at any time, and that even if you’re not named as a suspect in a criminal case, if you feel that someone you could say could be interpreted to make you a likely suspect, you can invoke right.

In other words, this is all over nothing. She could invoke fifth amendment mid sentence during an answer if she wanted to and there’s nothing congress can do about it (which I support.)

Timin203 on May 22, 2013 at 2:29 PM

The fifth amendment you are discussing is true in court. However, the fifth amendment is different in grand juries. If I’m not mistaken, in grand juries you must invoke your fifth amendment rights immediately or be held in contempt if invoking later.

itsspideyman on May 22, 2013 at 2:59 PM

I give up. Way too many legal opinions from people who quite frankly aren’t qualified. As in full of sh!t.

novaculus on May 22, 2013 at 3:01 PM

I give up. Way too many legal opinions from people who quite frankly aren’t qualified. As in full of sh!t.

novaculus on May 22, 2013 at 3:01 PM

Sorry you feel that way. I’m a practicing attorney, and while I do not practice criminal law in the adult system, I do handle juvenile delinquency cases and know how to research a legal issue.

totherightofthem on May 22, 2013 at 3:06 PM

novaculus on May 22, 2013 at 3:01 PM

Don’t give up! I find eon and you as being the most insightful as to how the Fifth Amendment applies. We kind of have a feel for how it works in courts, but I guess the real question is: How is it going to work in a Congressional hearing/investigation? I think that is Lerner’s gamble (along with optics), but I have serious doubts the panel is going to let it fly.

Turtle317 on May 22, 2013 at 3:09 PM

totherightofthem on May 22, 2013 at 3:06 PM

I’ll take you word on it. I’ve been licensed for over thirty years, and criminal law is one of my areas of practice.

Your remarks about witnesses and the Fifth Amendment privilege are just plain wrong. No witness can address a subject under oath and then refuse to answer questions related to that prior testimony. The privilege must be asserted before the potentially incriminating matter is addressed in testimony. Otherwise a witness could make completely false and misleading statements about a subject, and then refuse to testify further.

novaculus on May 22, 2013 at 3:14 PM

novaculus on May 22, 2013 at 3:14 PM

Someone ought to tell Findlaw about your position, then. I usually use Findlaw for overviews on a subject and then do more detailed research based upon case law referred to by the author. I will grant you that I have not done that more detailed research in this case, so I will defer to your expertise, since I don’t practice in the adult system. At least until I do some more research. ;-)

totherightofthem on May 22, 2013 at 3:18 PM

Oh, and novaculus, we essentially agree in most (my position) if not all (your position) one waives their privilege once they start testifying, which I think Lerner did in this case. What did you think about the ultimate answer to that question?

totherightofthem on May 22, 2013 at 3:19 PM

Turtle317 on May 22, 2013 at 3:09 PM

The Fifthe Amendment privilege has been extended by the courts to include all statement under oath that could expose the witness to future prosecution under criminal law. So you can assert the privilege before a congressional committee. If you waive the privilege by testifying, you can be compelled to answer questions related to the subjects of the statements made under oath.

If they call her back and tell her they believe she has waived and must answer questions, and she still asserts the privilege and refuses, the remedy is Contempt of Congress proceedings. If Congress prevailed, ultimately she could be jailed for refusing to testify.

novaculus on May 22, 2013 at 3:20 PM

*sigh* Most cases, if not all cases. Damn fingers typing too fast.

totherightofthem on May 22, 2013 at 3:20 PM

totherightofthem on May 22, 2013 at 3:06 PM

Showing my age: I remember a Rockford Files in which Jim tried to invoke his 5th amendment right after he had started testifying in a grand jury and this came up. I do know the 5th can’t be used to pick and choose to answer the questions you wish to, it’s purpose was to protect against self-incrimination.

From her testimony (and I’m not a lawyer), it seems she is doing exactly that, picking and choosing.

itsspideyman on May 22, 2013 at 3:21 PM

Thanks to both novaculus and totherightofthem for their understanding of the law.

itsspideyman on May 22, 2013 at 3:22 PM

What has Issa ever accomplished in all of the hearings he has chaired? Has anyone ever gone to jail? Do we know if any one has ever been fired? He is the director of a dog and pony show meant to give the conservatives some red meat and fool them into thinking that Pubs. are doing something, when in fact they haven’t done jack chit. It’s all for show. Dems stay in office, Pubs. for trhe most part stay in office and it’s all a shell game. If the Pubs. were worth a crap, we wouldn’t be on the verge of being slaves to the Fed. gubmint. We deserve to be screwed by the federal gubmint. We deserve to have our rights violated. We deserve to have gov;t, employees give us the middle finger and plead the fifth. We deserve whatever befalls us because we keep voting for these scumbags who keep showing us the same old dog and pony shows.

Issa sucks. The whole Pub. party sucks. Boehner should be ousted. McConnel ousted. But pubs. are too chicken shit to do anything about it.
Pee on them all! These scandals are going nowhere. No one in authority will be held accountable. Some janitor may be thrown under the bus, but that will be the extent of it. The sooner and the quicker this country collapses, the better for all of us. If people suddenly find themselves in dire straits, maybe they will wake up to the truth. Until that happens, we are doomed.

they lie on May 22, 2013 at 3:23 PM

totherightofthem on May 22, 2013 at 3:19 PM

I didn’t see her testimony live and have only seen a clip. But I think her blanket denials of wrongdoing are problematic for her, as they arguable raise every potentially criminal aspect of the investigation. Her blanket denial of lying to Congress certainly raises the argument she can be compelled to testify regarding any of her previous testimony, or at least any of it that was arguably false.

I want to take the time to review the entire statement before going any further. Won’t have time for that until this evening at the earliest.

novaculus on May 22, 2013 at 3:28 PM

On Drudge right now:

FLASH: ISSA TO SUBPOENA LOIS LERNER BACK TO COMMITTEE…
‘Waived her fifth amendment rights’ by giving opening statement…

Chris of Rights on May 22, 2013 at 3:32 PM

Former counsel at Federal Election Commission and (soon to be former) counsel at IRS – “I’m not good at math.” and also appears to not be good at law either.

krome on May 22, 2013 at 3:36 PM

Issa trapped her by getting her to testify in authenticating the IG transcript of questions…

He confirmed in his closing she screwed up with both her opening statement and her authentication of evidence.

Gowdy and Issa were excellent.

I bet she cuts a deal.

workingclass artist on May 22, 2013 at 3:37 PM

workingclass artist on May 22, 2013 at 3:37 PM

Not a trap. Everybody, even crooks, know they shouldn’t testify without carefully considering the advice of a lawyer.

Fenris on May 22, 2013 at 3:40 PM

“I have not done anything wrong,” she said. “I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations, and I have not provided false information to this or any other committee.”

Uh oh. This statement is so broad as to arguably constitute a blanket waiver of the privilege. If her lawyer didn’t warn her not to make these statements, he had better have his malpractice insurance paid up.

novaculus on May 22, 2013 at 3:41 PM

workingclass artist on May 22, 2013 at 3:37 PM

Not a trap. Everybody, even crooks, know they shouldn’t testify without carefully considering the advice of a lawyer.

Fenris on May 22, 2013 at 3:40 PM

Looked like one to me.

She pleads the 5th.

Issa asks her to authenticate evidence.

she does…then pleads the 5th again.

workingclass artist on May 22, 2013 at 3:43 PM

Via Drudge:

FLASH: ISSA TO SUBPOENA LOIS LERNER BACK TO COMMITTEE…
‘Waived her fifth amendment rights’ by giving opening statement…

Opinionator on May 22, 2013 at 3:43 PM

I want to take the time to review the entire statement before going any further. Won’t have time for that until this evening at the earliest.

novaculus on May 22, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Fair enough.

totherightofthem on May 22, 2013 at 3:44 PM

Uh oh. This statement is so broad as to arguably constitute a blanket waiver of the privilege. If her lawyer didn’t warn her not to make these statements, he had better have his malpractice insurance paid up.

novaculus on May 22, 2013 at 3:41 PM

That was my thought from the get-go, when I heard it live. It’s pretty broad. It would be like one of your clients (assuming you do defense) saying, “let me on the stand to declare my innocence and then I’ll just assert the 5th”. I may not practice adult criminal law, but I do believe that would constitute a blanket waiver. ;-)

totherightofthem on May 22, 2013 at 3:46 PM

Issa trapped her by getting her to testify in authenticating the IG transcript of questions…

He confirmed in his closing she screwed up with both her opening statement and her authentication of evidence.

Gowdy and Issa were excellent.

I bet she cuts a deal.

workingclass artist on May 22, 2013 at 3:37 PM

Nope. She trapped herself with her opening statement, IMO.

totherightofthem on May 22, 2013 at 3:46 PM

totherightofthem on May 22, 2013 at 3:46 PM

Agreed then. I think the legal term for her position is profundus fimus. I did defense work, including 12 years as a PD in one of the most corrupt and crime-ridden counties in the nation. Very glad to have that pressure cooker behind me.

novaculus on May 22, 2013 at 3:52 PM

Looked like one to me.

She pleads the 5th.

Issa asks her to authenticate evidence.

she does…then pleads the 5th again.

workingclass artist on May 22, 2013 at 3:43 PM

Emphasis added. So you’re saying it’s Issa’s fault she agreed to testify? And that she chose to make an opening statement denying anything illegal since the beginning of time?

Fenris on May 22, 2013 at 3:55 PM

That was my thought from the get-go, when I heard it live. It’s pretty broad. It would be like one of your clients (assuming you do defense) saying, “let me on the stand to declare my innocence and then I’ll just assert the 5th”. I may not practice adult criminal law, but I do believe that would constitute a blanket waiver. ;-)

totherightofthem on May 22, 2013 at 3:46 PM

Wait, what?? I can’t testify to my own innocence and deny my accusers the ability to cross examine me at the same time??? Crazy! I need to go to Harvard Law. BRB!

NotCoach on May 22, 2013 at 3:59 PM

Agreed then. I think the legal term for her position is profundus fimus. I did defense work, including 12 years as a PD in one of the most corrupt and crime-ridden counties in the nation. Very glad to have that pressure cooker behind me.

novaculus on May 22, 2013 at 3:52 PM

Criminal defense, especially public defender work, is grueling. I can understand your relief at being done with the venue, if not done with the area of practice, entirely.

totherightofthem on May 22, 2013 at 3:59 PM

Wait, what?? I can’t testify to my own innocence and deny my accusers the ability to cross examine me at the same time??? Crazy! I need to go to Harvard Law. BRB!

NotCoach on May 22, 2013 at 3:59 PM

Say hi to nonpartisan, for me, then. ;-)

totherightofthem on May 22, 2013 at 3:59 PM

Say hi to nonpartisan, for me, then. ;-)

totherightofthem on May 22, 2013 at 3:59 PM

I must have just missed him, bit now I’m back with my Harvard Law degree. What if she got up and walked away and Issa asked a question after she walked away? Huh? Doesn’t that count an an extenuating circumstance?? Sheesh, you non-Harvard Law grads are stoooopid!

NotCoach on May 22, 2013 at 4:03 PM

Just an aside … Waiting to find out that Mark Levin has been tapped as background expert for the committe, or at least the right side.
He’s been dealing with the heavy hand of the IRS for decades, and hasn’t been on the radio all week.
Wonder if he was behind this sneaky little detail ???

pambi on May 22, 2013 at 4:06 PM

Doesn’t that count an an extenuating circumstance?? Sheesh, you non-Harvard Law grads are stoooopid!

NotCoach on May 22, 2013 at 4:03 PM

LOL! You crack me up. You’re right, though. I just went to some lowly midwestern law school. One where the graduates have a higher percentage rate of passing the bar (on the first go around) than University of Michigan. But hey, it wasn’t Hahvahd, so I guess I should burn my license and become a paralegal to nonpartisan. ;-)

totherightofthem on May 22, 2013 at 4:08 PM

Jay Seculo (?) on Hannity radio, ATM

pambi on May 22, 2013 at 4:13 PM

I am not a lawyer and won’t pretend to be one. I have listened to Lerner’s opening statement, and immediate, subsequent plea of fifth amendment privileges and I cannot help but share how this reminds me of Calvin of Calvin & Hobbes fame claiming to his parents, “I didn’t do it. Nobody saw me do it. You can’t prove anything. :-P “

kscheuller on May 22, 2013 at 4:14 PM

LOL! You crack me up. You’re right, though. I just went to some lowly midwestern law school. One where the graduates have a higher percentage rate of passing the bar (on the first go around) than University of Michigan. But hey, it wasn’t Hahvahd, so I guess I should burn my license and become a paralegal to nonpartisan. ;-)

totherightofthem on May 22, 2013 at 4:08 PM

I’ve been to a bar before. :P

Speaking of U of M, I actually have a friend who graduated from U of M Law but never took the bar exam. However, if you talk law with him he still sounds 50 million times more intelligent than nonintelligent does. My friend though is kind of a lost soul. He’s smart enough to be a conservative, but afraid to abandon liberal politics since almost all of his other friends are liberals themselves. He had dreams of becoming a labor lawyer at one point, but he knows deep down just how much of his soul he would have to sell to do that. So instead he says, “Yeah, I lost interest.” Someday he’ll come around. :P

NotCoach on May 22, 2013 at 4:15 PM

Wasn’t there recent headline that ‘you can not remain silent on gay rights, to be silent is equivalent to anti-gay’? Something like that?

Well, sic it on her.

Turn around is fair play in Leftist book.

Sir Napsalot on May 22, 2013 at 4:36 PM

Looked like one to me.

She pleads the 5th.

Issa asks her to authenticate evidence.

she does…then pleads the 5th again.

workingclass artist on May 22, 2013 at 3:43 PM

Emphasis added. So you’re saying it’s Issa’s fault she agreed to testify? And that she chose to make an opening statement denying anything illegal since the beginning of time?

Fenris on May 22, 2013 at 3:55 PM

I’m saying Lerner blew it.

Issa was clever…very clever

workingclass artist on May 22, 2013 at 4:43 PM

So is Isa really trying to find out who directed the targeting of conservative organizations or just putting on a show for us rubes. Have any of his “investigations” actually resolved anything?

Nomas on May 22, 2013 at 4:45 PM

totherightofthem on May 22, 2013 at 3:59 PM

Judge Napolitano on Cavuto now making the same points regarding waiver by testimony, right down to the blanket vs. subject matter distinction.

novaculus on May 22, 2013 at 4:53 PM

Issa is slow and methodical and very hard works to not appear “aggressive”. He has been slowly building a nice absket of things that when the wall breaks – and cracks appear to be forming – that all hell breaks lose.

It was a trap in the sense that he had no desire to tip his hand. Now, she can still avoid this by being willing to go to jail – ala McD during the Clinton administration. Problem is, and she knows this, there are others who know the same stuff – and will be offered opportunities to save their skins by torching her and someone else.

This won’t touch Obama – but someone in the WH inner circle will be resigning soon – and that person’s senior aide will be facing some heavy legal bills. Why the WH went after the media is amazingly stupid. SO for Lerner to walk into this trap shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Zomcon JEM on May 22, 2013 at 5:14 PM

She should be disbarred.

Another Drew on May 22, 2013 at 5:22 PM

If Lerner negotiates immunity she will just get up there and say it was all her idea from the start and Obama knew nothing.

mitchellvii on May 22, 2013 at 8:43 PM

To everyone parsing the fifth amendment thing — court has long held that you can invoke your right to remain silent at any time, and that even if you’re not named as a suspect in a criminal case, if you feel that someone you could say could be interpreted to make you a likely suspect, you can invoke right.

In other words, this is all over nothing. She could invoke fifth amendment mid sentence during an answer if she wanted to and there’s nothing congress can do about it (which I support.)

Timin203 on May 22, 2013 at 2:29 PM

I believe you’re thinking of talking to the police where you can invoke the fifth at any time. Once you start testifying under oath, you’ve waived your right to remain silent. It’s not the same as responding to police interrogation. She now has to testify or go to jail.

talkingpoints on May 22, 2013 at 8:45 PM

Issa is slow and methodical and very hard works to not appear “aggressive”.

Zomcon JEM on May 22, 2013 at 5:14 PM

He has to be in dealing with women giving testimony, and there will be a lot of women involved in this. It’s not right but that’s the way it is.

A Special Prosecutor with a team of investigators on the other hand will not have to worry about stoking the ‘war on wymyn’ meme.

slickwillie2001 on May 22, 2013 at 9:27 PM

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