Skip to comments.Issa: Lerner waived her rights by giving an opening statement, so we’re bringing her back
Posted on 05/22/2013 2:12:59 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
You already know the background on this from Ed’s post this morning. Lerner began her testimony by reading a self-serving statement, then declared that she’d answer no questions. Trey Gowdy objected, insisting that once you start yapping in your own interest, you’re not allowed to clam up again.
Issa evidently agrees — but only for the moment, I suspect. Prediction: Either he’ll reverse himself on this or he’ll bring her back simply to have her sit there and plead the Fifth repeatedly in response to the committee’s questions. He won’t hold her in contempt.
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 precedents are clear that this is not something you can turn on and turn off, he told POLITICO. She made testimony after she was sworn in, asserted her innocence in a number of areas, even answered questions asserting that a document was true So she gave partial testimony and then tried to revoke that.…
I understand from her counsel that there was a plan to assert her Fifth Amendment rights, he continued. She went ahead and made a statement, so counsel let her effectively under the precedent, waive so we now have someone who no longer has that ability.
Are the precedents clear? It’s true that you can’t take the stand as a criminal defendant to give your side of the story and then go quiet during cross-examination, but what about at a congressional hearing where you’re merely a witness? One expert on the Fifth Amendment tells New York mag that the privilege can always be invoked circumstantially in situations like this:
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.
“When somebody is in this situation,” says Duane, a Harvard Law graduate whose 2008 lecture on invoking the Fifth Amendment with police has been viewed on YouTube nearly 2.5 million times, “when they are involuntarily summoned before grand jury or before legislative body, it is well settled that they have a right to make a ‘selective invocation,’ as it’s called, with respect to questions that they think might raise a meaningful risk of incriminating themselves.”
In fact, Duane says, “even if Ms. Lerner had given answers to a few questions five, ten, twenty questions before she decided, ‘That’s where I draw the line, I’m not answering any more questions,’ she would be able to do that as well.” Such uses of selective invocation “happen all the time.”
What happens when Issa brings her back and the questions begin? Could be that she’ll cave and start answering, but I assume her lawyer will tell her to take the Fifth again, in which case it’s Issa’s move. He could try to hold her in contempt, which would probably ignite a court battle and would certainly ignite lots of media concern-trolling about the GOP crushing Lerner’s rights as a way to change the subject from the underlying scandal. The court battle would slow down the investigation and might spark a bit of public sympathy for Lerner and the IRS — although judging by the applause after Gowdy’s remarks in the clip below (via the Washington Free Beacon), maybe not. Politically, it might even be worth losing the court battle: Litigation will only call more attention to the fact that Lerner doesn’t want to talk for mysterious reasons, which makes the IRS’s actions look that much shadier. Still, there are other fish to fry here that make it not worth getting bogged down — yet — in a privilege fight over Lerner. There’s still Cindy Thomas and her underlings to hear from, for starters. If they point the finger at Lerner, then it’s to court we go. But in the meantime, sure, why not bring her back and make her sit through an hour or so of serially re-asserting her privilege to dozens of questions? Worst-case scenario, the dodginess of the spectacle puts even more pressure on the IRS. Best-case scenario, she’ll decide to answer questions selectively, which will add a bit more information to what the committee knows.
BuzzFeed has a new post up this afternoon that acts as a nice counterpoint to Mark Hemingway’s piece on Lerner yesterday. She was very, very hard on the Christian Coalition while at the FEC, but conspicuously not so hard on one of Al Gore’s biggest fundraisers. Go figure. Exit question: Is our government now so weak vis-a-vis union power that not a single person at the IRS, including Lerner, has been fired or even disciplined for what happened? (Steve Miller ended up resigning, but of course he had only a few weeks left to his term.) Has anyone at any level been fired for any of the scandals now roiling political media? The only person I can think of is Raymond Maxwell, who wasn’t fired but placed on “administrative leave” over Benghazi and who argues forcefully that he’s being scapegoated for something he had nothing to do with. But don’t give up hope: Obama’s biggest fans in liberal media, who were at the White House just yesterday, are chirping this afternoon about how it’s time for Lerner to go. Maybe O’s messaging team is using its surrogates to prepare the way for a big firing.
How do you invoke the protection against self-incrimination if you “didn’t do anything wrong”? What’s to incriminate?
What did the President know and when did he know it?
Welcome to the Encore Presentation of “On the advice of my legal counsel i exert my Fifth amendment right not to answer that, congressman.”
I will like to see this statement uttered about 150-200 times by her. Now THAT is going to be 2014 campaign footage right there.
Cameras, ROLL FILM!!!!!
The precedents are clear that this is not something you can turn on and turn off, he told POLITICO. She made testimony after she was sworn in, asserted her innocence in a number of areas, even answered questions asserting that a document was true So she gave partial testimony and then tried to revoke that.
The approval of the document was her downfall. Issa was awesome. I believe it was perfectly planned with Jordan and a few others in on it. They rocked today.
didnt do anything wrong?
“Whats to incriminate?”
For being such a savvy, with it, so inside-the-beltway operator, she should have known (as well as her high powered lawyer) that you keep your mouth shut if you plead the Fifth.
Can’t have it both ways, honey.
I realized this as soon as she opened her yap. I am old enough to remember the McCarthy hearings, the Mafia hearings etc. No one said anything but “I’m taking the fifth”. She like so many of the progressives think that they are smarter than the panel. It looks like she outsmarted herself.
Of course this will be reported by the MSM (if reported at all) as her falling prey to a trap set by the evil Republicans who tricked her into this situation.....
We’ll be lucky to hear 5 seconds on the MSM and they will say congress beat up an innocent woman.
The Fifth Amendment assures that a person does not co,fess under duress. It doesn’t mean that you didn’t do anything wrong.
“I Need a do over”
Why did not her Atty interject and stop her, did he not know the law?
This is all fine with me I want answers as well!
There is a cancer on the presidency.
10 to 1 Levin, if he is back from his son’s graduation, rips Issa a new one
on how he handled this matter. And gives high marks to Trey Gowdy.
So if you didn’t do anything wrong, what could you possibly confess?
Day v. Boston Edison Co., 150 F.R.D. 16, 21 (D.Mass. 1993):
(There is no question but that the privilege against self-incrimination can be waived, not only explicitly but also implicitly by failing to assert it. Thus if a witness who is compelled to testify,does, in fact, testify and during testimony reveals information instead of claiming the privilege,the witness can be said to have waived the privilege as to the information disclosed.")
Lerner made statements prior to invoking 5th Amendment privilege and can be compelled to testify on those statements.
She violates the American peoples’ First Amendment and then hides behind the Fifth Amendment.
HA! HA! Watch Lerner take a sudden vacation!
Of course she did. There would have been repercussions but nobody physically dragged her in.
She will not come back.
Issa rolled over like a good puppy and let her go and ignored the protestations of Rep Trey Gowdy.
Sorry, the lawyer from Harvard (who is probably a hardcore liberal activist) is wrong.
You can’t turn it off and on. If they could, all defendants could take the stand, answer only the questions they want, and claim the 5th when the Prosecutor starts asking questions.
It puts an onus upon the state to prove its case, not for you to help the state convict you.
I’d rather exist this right, even for those who,seek to destroy us.
The last link in the article (”it’s time for Lerner to go”) is well worth a click!
0 to 1 Levin....rips Issa a new one on how he handled this matter. And gives high marks to Trey Gowdy.
And Levin would be spot on with that assessment.
A Crack in the IRS Dam
Posted on May 21, 2013 by John Hinderaker in IRS, Obama Administration Scandals
The dam protecting the IRS scandal began to crack today when Lois Lerner, the IRS official who announced, and apologized for, the improper singling out of conservative-leaning organizations by IRS employees under her command, announced through her criminal defense lawyer that she will not testify as scheduled tomorrow before the House Oversight Committee. Rather, she will assert her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
This marks a milestone in the IRS investigation. It can now be taken as more or less established that crimes were committed by Obama administration employees. Lerners lawyer tried to minimize the significance of her invoking the privilege against self-incrimination by saying that since law enforcement authorities have announced they are pursuing a criminal investigation, she had no choice. This is silly: people testify before Senate committees and grand juries when there is a criminal investigation going on, all the time. The ones who plead the Fifth are those who cannot answer questions honestly without confessing to serious crimes.
More information has come out about Ms. Lerner, too. It turns out that in her prior position at the Federal Elections Commission, Lerner was obsessed with religious organizations and their religious practices, some of which she apparently wanted to suppress. Mark Hemingway has the scoop:
prior to joining the IRS, Lerners tenure as head of the Enforcement Office at the Federal Election Commission (FEC) was marked by what appears to be politically motivated harassment of conservative groups.
This excerpt is from a deposition taken by an FEC lawyer, acting under the direction of Lois Lerner, of Oliver North. This was in an FEC case, and apparently Lerner and her minions were burning to find out whether Pat Robertson had prayed for Oliver North:
Q: (reading from a letter from Oliver North to Pat Robertson) Betsy and I thank you for your kind regards and prayers. The next paragraph is, Please give our love to Dede and I hope to see you in the near future. Who is Dede?
A: That is Mrs. Robertson....
Yes, wear her out with her own statement. Footnote: the invocation of the 5th is for protection from testifying against oneself, however, it is not a protection from testifying whatsoever.
You can only use it, though, if you actually have something that might incriminate you. If you’re completely innocent, how can you incriminate yourself? I’d love it if someone would ask Mizzz Lerner that.
I’m not a lawyer and I didn’t go to law school like Mr Shulman [who didn’t graduate btw], but I would say that everything she said prior to pressing the Fifth is subject to cross-examination.
OBAMA ADMINISTRATION APPROVES 50 MILLION DOLLARS IN AID TO KENYA. O'S HALF BRO READY TO CASH IN---RUNS THE TAX-EXEMPT "DO-GOOD" OBAMA FOUNDATION
NAMED FOR DEAR OLD DAD The tax-exempt charity named in honor of their Dad, is run by President Barack Obamas half-brother Malik.
The tax-exempt Obama foundation, fast-tracked by Lerner for IRS tax-exempt status, is based at a Virginia UPS store, according to its website. The organizations IRS filings list another Virginia address that is actually a drug rehab center where the foundation does not appear ever to have been based.
As first reported by The Daily Caller, the foundation was speedily approved for IRS exemption by Lois Lerner, the self-same IRS senior official at the center of the targeting of conservative organizations that have waited over two years to receive tax exempt status. The IRS thoughtfully gave Obama Foundation retroactive fund-raising status.......which it stupidly never applied for.
The tax-exempt Barack H. Obama Foundation is run by Abongo Roy Malik Obama, the half-brother of Barack Obama. The foundations mission statement is to provide people everywhere with resources to uplift their welfare and living standards in memory of dad---Barack H. Obama: in the region of his birth, Kenya, and beyond. Its guiding principle is the inherent belief that no one can truly enjoy the riches he has reaped if his neighbor suffers....."We seek to elevate the human condition so that everyone can live in dignity and truly enjoy having one another as neighbors.
(same old, same old sap-happy do-goodniks)
Despite raising more than $250,000, the alleged charity doesnt seem to have done much. Its website claims the organization has built a madrassa and was building an imams house as well as some proposed latrines, but there is no other evidence that the nonprofit was working to mitigate social-shortcomings in areas of education and literacy, health and well-being, poverty, and lack of community infrastructure in such basic needs such as water, electricity, shelter and sustenance, as the site says.
Alton Ray Baysden, a former Dept of State employee, allegedly a registered Republican, who helped start the Barack H Obama foundation, declined to comment before seeing copies of a reporters passport and govt ID, along with a description of the articles motivation and slant.
Repeated reporters' phone calls went to the organizations voicemail and were not returned.
Obama's half-brother Malik holds up photo of Obama in Muslim
dress taken on a trip to Kenya when Ohaha was about 23-24 yo.
Cue sudden “tripping; bumped head; clotted blood” in 3, 2, 1......
Now he has access to 50 million : )
See my post #16 ...
Unfortunately I believe they will still blow this. I’d like to see them come down on her like the hammer of God, but they are so stupid and if they aren’t stupid, then deliberately screwing this up because they really aren’t all that upset about this stuff.
If you watch Lerner closely in the Gowdy footage
you can see that when the crowd applauds she involuntarily looks down - because that one HURTS.
This is just another high-ranking political crony driving back and forth from Fairfax, Prince George’s County or wherever and collecting bonuses who thought she was on the inside track to affluence all on the taxpayer’s dime.
They have coached her, told her to keep mum and keep her poise but - chauvinism warning - women generally aren’t quite as good at keeping a poker face.
She didn’t expect to be in this position and she certainly didn’t expect to receive the public’s scorn live and in person, however tepid it might have been in the committee chamber.
Yeppity, yep, yep!
You can't waltz into a courtroom, become a witness for yourself...and then turn around and refuse to be a witness againstyourself.
There IS a reason Lady Justice carries a set of scales, and Lerner tipped them by opening her mouth.
It’s like if you know someone did wrong, you don’t have to ask him if he did, just bring him to trial and prove it.
I have read many articles of Lerner Harassing religious orgs, for a number of years. I’m sure congress will bring it up on her return. It is to big to ignore.
She reminded me so much of Hillary Clinton. I hope they both go to jail.
Why would the Rino’s be upset about Obama’s IRS targeting Tea Party
and conservative groups? The answer. They’re not.
When they closed the hearing, Issa said they were going to consult their counsel.
Obviously .. they did .. and found out Trey Gowdy was correct.
When you want to Declare the 5th, you cannot say anything but: “I invoke the 5th Amendment and I refuse to answer on the grounds that it may/might incriminate me”.
That information is the only thing you can say. So, she either got HORRIBLE legal counsel, or she made the preliminary statement WITHOUT HER COUNSEL’s consent or knowledge. Either way .. it says to me .. the left thinks the repubs are so stupid, they won’t know she can’t make a statement and also invoke the 5th.
Thank goodness for Trey Gowdy - who being a former PRESECUTOR, knew what the law said. And .. it showed up Cummings - AGAIN - for the partisan he is .. by saying Shulman was a “Bush appointee” (while neglecting to say that Shulman was a DEMOCRAT DONOR).
And re Cummings comment that the hearing should be like a court hearing. Trey Gowdy with his Prosecutor’s knowledge showed up Cummings again; exposing the folly of Ms. Lerner’s attempt at the 5th Amendment.
maybe this one will try to make some kind of deal, now, to save her own insipid hide, by spilling a whole plate full of beans on barry
“I have read many articles of Lerner Harassing religious orgs”
I keep waiting for someone or some entity to stress the IRS’ harassment of Billy Graham and Franklin Graham. These are people who have always been above reproach, and even the biggest libs can’t deny that. Showing that Billy Graham was a victim of the IRS would make it possible for even the most ignorant lib “get it”.
In the court of Public Opinion, Lerner rolled Issa today. Her self serving
Statement proclaiming her innocence is getting heavy rotation on news
channels, which is exactly what Lerner wanted.
Issa got rolled today, which is why he wants he back.
I couldn't believe that he didn't put a hold on the proceedings to confer with Gowdy or another attorney.
What was the rush?
I sure hope she returns.
Issa rolled over like Webb Hubbell.
They should bring her in every day, all day for the rest of her life. At least that way, she wouldn't have time to assault the rest of us.
No harassment of Rev Wrights church though. They still have their exemption.
Obama Pastors’ Sermon May Violate Tax Laws
Mr. Wright wasn’t at a convention or a campaign stop. He was standing at the pulpit before the mostly African-American congregation of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ, where Sen. Obama has worshiped for more than 20 years.
Mr. Wright, who will be ending his 36-year tenure as the church’s senior pastor in June, has previously been criticized for comments deriding President George Bush and lauding Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam. Now Mr. Wright’s and his successor’s repeated enthusiastic promotion of their famous parishioner may be running afoul of federal tax law, which says churches can endanger their tax-exempt status by endorsing or opposing candidates for public office.
Sen. Obama’s campaign issued a statement saying that he has repeatedly stressed that personal attacks “have no place in this campaign or our politics, whether they’re offered from a platform at a rally or the pulpit of a church.” The statement also said he “does not think of the pastor of his church in political terms. Like a member of his family, there are things he says with which Senator Obama deeply disagrees.’’ Mr. Wright declined to comment./