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Video: Lerner takes the Fifth or did she?
Hot Air ^ | 5-22-2013 | Ed Morrissey

Posted on 05/22/2013 10:21:23 AM PDT by smoothsailing

May 22, 2013

Video: Lerner takes the Fifth — or did she?

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:

VIDEO

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.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Extended News; News/Current Events
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The Short Version-Lois Lerner's Blink and You'll Miss It Appearance at IRS Hearing with Richard Nixon
1 posted on 05/22/2013 10:21:23 AM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: smoothsailing

She is one mean looking broad. She would have fit right in with Stalin’s regime.


2 posted on 05/22/2013 10:22:19 AM PDT by miserare
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To: smoothsailing

She testified that she didn’t do anything wrong, and then said she wasn’t going to testify.


3 posted on 05/22/2013 10:25:13 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: miserare

She comes from the same cloth as Jarrett, Rice, Ingram, Nuland, Sebelius, Hillary and Napolitano. All shameless Nazi b!tches.


4 posted on 05/22/2013 10:26:54 AM PDT by GeorgeWashingtonsGhost
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To: smoothsailing

It’s my understanding that once you testify at all, you lose your ability to claim the fifth.

Wasn’t her opening statement an act of testifying?

To claim the fifth, she should have taken a pass on the statement she made, and simply said she couldn’t testify because it might be self-incriminating.


5 posted on 05/22/2013 10:27:34 AM PDT by DoughtyOne (Funny thing happened on the way to the Constitution burning, Lefties rights were violated...)
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To: smoothsailing

I was watching that play out and saying to my self OMG Issa that was brilliant! He can now compel her to testify. She is an attorney she knew or should have known. They could hold her in contempt.


6 posted on 05/22/2013 10:27:48 AM PDT by Walkingfeather
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To: Walkingfeather

Issa had better. Because if he doesn’t it will be crystal clear that his committee is a dog & pony show & nothing more.


7 posted on 05/22/2013 10:31:03 AM PDT by skeeter
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To: smoothsailing

To my mind and I’d dare say an honest prosecutor, judge and jury’s mind, an opening a statement that “I did nothing wrong, illegal or otherwise” is Testimony. Further invocations of protecting oneself from self-incrimination are of lesser standing.

Whether she answered questions or not, she was “on the stand” and her statements should be used against her at trial.


8 posted on 05/22/2013 10:31:32 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: Walkingfeather

I could be wrong, but I believe that’s where your praise on Issa falls apart. He won’t compel her to testify. He should have been ready on the spot to call her on it. He muffed it IMO.


9 posted on 05/22/2013 10:32:52 AM PDT by DoughtyOne (Funny thing happened on the way to the Constitution burning, Lefties rights were violated...)
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To: smoothsailing

She did exactly as she was instructed.

And so did Issa.

Everyone did their job.

Well, maybe not Gowdy.

But that will be noted and dealt with when the opportunity presents itself.


10 posted on 05/22/2013 10:32:55 AM PDT by servo1969
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To: smoothsailing

Really?

Don`t get it yet?

” The law ( constitution ) is irrelevant ! “

They`re saying out loud what they`ve been practicing since FDR, the law/constitution is whatever they say it is. They will adhere to the law/constitution only when it serves their ideology.


11 posted on 05/22/2013 10:33:12 AM PDT by Para-Ord.45
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To: blueunicorn6

Exactly, she set her own perjury trap. It may well be this out of control arrogance that brings them all down. It’s a trait run rampant in the Obama gang and I hope and pray that it leads to their undoing.


12 posted on 05/22/2013 10:33:14 AM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: Gaffer

Oh! Oh! Oh! and BTW, presented with the same situation in the Watergate hearings, young Ms Hillary (a staffer on the prosecution side) vehemently urged the defendants (accused) be stripped of their constitutional rights, including that of which Lerner availed herself.


13 posted on 05/22/2013 10:33:27 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: skeeter

We knew she was going to plead the 5th in advance. Didn’t Issa?

He should have been ready for her. Instead he accepts her plea and that’s it.

He should have smacked her down right then and there.

Once she provided her statement, she invalidated her claim to the the fifth protections.


14 posted on 05/22/2013 10:34:40 AM PDT by DoughtyOne (Funny thing happened on the way to the Constitution burning, Lefties rights were violated...)
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To: smoothsailing
I'm certainly no lawyer but if she was under oath at the time she stated "I have done nothing wrong...I have violated no laws" then those statements constitute sworn testimony and if she's ever convicted of having broken the law it seems that she can also be charged with perjury.Of course she refused to answer questions like "were you ever in contact with your superiors regarding irregular activities at the IRS?" and the American people can draw whatever conclusions they wish regarding her refusal.I,personally,would never fear *any* question put to me under oath if I knew (or even firmly believed) that I had done nothing wrong.OTOH,I'd definitely take the 5th if I was ever asked,under oath,if I had ever stolen a pack of gum from Woolworth's because I did...when I was 12.

Taking the 5th is something that people with something to hide...or something to fear....do.Innocent people don't do it...regardless of how vigorously they're advised to do so by lawyers or others.

Give her immunity...and then force her to sing.

15 posted on 05/22/2013 10:36:17 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Leno Was Right,They *Are* Undocumented Democrats!)
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To: smoothsailing

they are cheering in the WH just as they did on the streets throughout the Mideast after 9/11.


16 posted on 05/22/2013 10:37:48 AM PDT by elpadre (AfganistaMr Obama said the goal was to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-hereQaeda" and its allies.)
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To: DoughtyOne
Once she provided her statement, she invalidated her claim to the the fifth protections.

What she did was absolutely slimey and was clearly done under orders from the very top...but my guess is that she broke no law during that appearance.Of course I could be entirely wrong about the lawbreaking part.

17 posted on 05/22/2013 10:39:07 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Leno Was Right,They *Are* Undocumented Democrats!)
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To: DoughtyOne

That’s the way I see it. Everything she said before she invoked the 5th is testimony that can be used against her. I’m no attorney but I don’t see how she can invoke the 5th retroactively. If that were the case wouldn’t any testimony under oath be meaningless?


18 posted on 05/22/2013 10:39:19 AM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: Walkingfeather

I saw it the same way, I think Issa has a time bomb that he can set off now any time he wants.


19 posted on 05/22/2013 10:40:56 AM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: Gay State Conservative

I wouldn’t claim she broke the law by what she did.

I do think she breached a technicality that invalidates her ability to claim the 5th.

You can’t just testify about the parts you want to. If you testify at all, you open yourself up to being required to testify about everything.


20 posted on 05/22/2013 10:41:00 AM PDT by DoughtyOne (Funny thing happened on the way to the Constitution burning, Lefties rights were violated...)
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To: smoothsailing

Lerner should dress in leathers, and take full advantage of her bulldyke persona.


21 posted on 05/22/2013 10:41:10 AM PDT by pallis
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To: Walkingfeather
He can now compel her to testify.

It was brilliant but I think if he tries to compel her to testify, we'll hear a lot more about 'Executive Privilege'...if she is even in the country at all by that time.

22 posted on 05/22/2013 10:41:38 AM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (For me, I plan to die standing as a free man rather than spend one second on my knees as a slave.)
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To: skeeter
"...if he doesn’t it will be crystal clear that his committee is a dog & pony show & nothing more."

Or like the women's side of Wimbeldon... Tennis without balls?

23 posted on 05/22/2013 10:41:46 AM PDT by Palmetto Patriot
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To: smoothsailing

Exactly, she set her own perjury trap.


Reminds me of “my cousin vinny”:
Judge: “If the next word out of your mouth is not ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’ I will hold you in contempt of court.”
Vinny: “I think I get the point.”
Judge: “No. I don’t think you do. You are now in contempt of court.”


24 posted on 05/22/2013 10:42:46 AM PDT by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: DoughtyOne

After her “non-testimony testimony”, Issa should have asked her:

Did you do anything wrong?

Lerner: I invoke the fifth.

Issa: You just said you did nothing wrong.


25 posted on 05/22/2013 10:43:05 AM PDT by Rennes Templar (The true Obama persona is emerging, the one from his first Presidential debate.)
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To: smoothsailing

Lerner will become the Joe Valachi of the Obama mob.


26 posted on 05/22/2013 10:43:46 AM PDT by miserare
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To: smoothsailing

GIVE HER IMMUNITY

and then watch Osama Obama & Pals squirm

27 posted on 05/22/2013 10:43:52 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Leno Was Right,They *Are* Undocumented Democrats!)
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To: Gay State Conservative

I think she has to make some substantive statement about the subject material. Saying I am innocent, kind of, but not really. If she said I never gave an order to target, or I never knew of targeting, I think she would have waived. To say she waived would be so hyper technical, that a judge would not enforce it, he would err on the side of the person taking the 5th. They are two contradictory statements, I did not break the law, I will not testify because I may have broken the law and my statement my help convict me. But I don’t think anyone gets a whole lot of mileage out of this.


28 posted on 05/22/2013 10:44:06 AM PDT by job
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To: DoughtyOne
He [Issa] muffed it IMO.

What could he have done? Hold her in contempt of congress? That's all I can think of other than water boarding.

29 posted on 05/22/2013 10:44:34 AM PDT by luvbach1 (We are finished.)
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To: smoothsailing

Well sure.

I’m not claiming that’s what she did her though. She hasn’t said I retract what I said in defense of myself. No, she wants that to stand.

The point I was making to someone else a moment ago is that you can’t simply address the issues you want to, then claim the fifth for anything you don’t want to address.

You either completely refuse to be interviewed, or you open yourself up to be interviewed about everything.

That statement of hers was an act of testifying. She can’t all of a sudden refuse to testify on the parts she doesn’t want to testify about. She can’t have it both ways.

It seems Contempt of Congress is a reasoned charge here.

I’m not an attorney. Perhaps someone can set me straight if I’m wrong.


30 posted on 05/22/2013 10:46:32 AM PDT by DoughtyOne (Funny thing happened on the way to the Constitution burning, Lefties rights were violated...)
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To: Gay State Conservative

No. Lock her up until hell freezes over or she rolls over on the real culprit.


31 posted on 05/22/2013 10:47:15 AM PDT by Portcall24
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To: Rennes Templar

I agree.


32 posted on 05/22/2013 10:47:43 AM PDT by DoughtyOne (Funny thing happened on the way to the Constitution burning, Lefties rights were violated...)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts
It was brilliant but I think if he tries to compel her to testify, we'll hear a lot more about 'Executive Privilege'..

"Executive Privilege" is the next step in the process.Nixon and Clinton tried to invoke it with less than complete success.

33 posted on 05/22/2013 10:47:48 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Leno Was Right,They *Are* Undocumented Democrats!)
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To: luvbach1

Don’t use water. Just hit her with the board. :^)

Yes, he could have compelled her to complete her testimony, or charged her with Contempt of Congress.

At least that’s my take on it. Again, if someone else is wiser than I am on this subject, please set me straight.


34 posted on 05/22/2013 10:49:23 AM PDT by DoughtyOne (Funny thing happened on the way to the Constitution burning, Lefties rights were violated...)
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To: cuban leaf

LOL, one of my all time favorite LMAO flicks!


35 posted on 05/22/2013 10:49:59 AM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: blueunicorn6

Yep, which seems to me like she flipped the middle finger to Issa and his committee, said what she wanted to say (which will now be reported ad infinitum in the MSM) and then a hearty screw you to any of their questions....


36 posted on 05/22/2013 10:50:18 AM PDT by bigbob
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To: DoughtyOne
You can’t just testify about the parts you want to.

I think we might need a lawyer to weigh in on this point.My sense is that,when under oath,you can pick and choose which questions you're willing to answer and on which ones you'll take the 5th.

37 posted on 05/22/2013 10:50:58 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Leno Was Right,They *Are* Undocumented Democrats!)
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To: luvbach1
What could he have done? Hold her in contempt of congress?

If she had refused to appear after having been subpoenaed then I think that could have been done.But having appeared I think it could only be done if she had been granted immunity and *still* refused to cooperate.

38 posted on 05/22/2013 10:54:16 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Leno Was Right,They *Are* Undocumented Democrats!)
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To: DoughtyOne

Issa has more patience than we’d like. But he gets results (finding Holder in Contempt of Congress) while avoiding legal and political landmines.

Yes. Lerner claiming “I have violated no laws” and pleading the 5th are incompatable. Either she lied about ‘violating no laws’ or she has claimed a right that only applies to a criminal case (and there is only a criminal case if a crime has been committed).

He could have pressed her for an answer and denied her alleged right to the 5th. But this would set up legal challenges and would provide bad press. Pressing Lerner for an answer she wasn’t going to give, would have at best landed her in jail for contempt. And that’s all the further her involvement would go.

But now Issa has another tool in his toolbox: she has lied under oath. He can now, outside of public testimony, use the threat of contempt to get her to talk.

If that fails, he can always bring her back for further testimony and get the contempt charge. But why not make an attempt to get her to talk?


39 posted on 05/22/2013 10:57:59 AM PDT by kidd
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To: Gay State Conservative

It is well established that a witness may not testify voluntarily about a subject and then invoke the privilege against self-incrimination when questioned about the details in a single proceeding. The privilege is waived for the matters to which the witness testifies, and the scope of the waiver is determined by the scope of relevant cross-examination[xi]. S/he has no right to set forth to the jury all the facts which tend in his/her favor without laying himself/herself open to a cross-examination upon those facts[xii].

http://witnesses.uslegal.com/waiver-of-privilege-against-self-incrimination/


40 posted on 05/22/2013 10:58:23 AM PDT by DoughtyOne (Funny thing happened on the way to the Constitution burning, Lefties rights were violated...)
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To: smoothsailing

Rush was saying today it really doesn’t matter.

She will get promoted after it all dies down, and nothing will happen.

When Rush says this, you know that the game is near over.


41 posted on 05/22/2013 10:59:44 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: smoothsailing

No doubt, this attorney told her that she was above the law just like the pos presbo and his enforcer, holder.


42 posted on 05/22/2013 11:00:08 AM PDT by freeangel ( (free speech is only good until someone else doesn't like it)
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To: smoothsailing

I want to know why they didn’t make her stay plead the 5th for a number of questions...e.g., did you communicate with WH, etc. It would have had a great impact on TV for a IRS official to repeatedly plead the 5th.

The dems would have done it if the shoe was on the other foot. Why the hell didn’t Issa and the republicans?!


43 posted on 05/22/2013 11:00:22 AM PDT by Miles the Slasher
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To: kidd

Thanks for the comments. There’s some worth in there regarding his former accomplishments and tactics used.

I’m not sure I agree that he did the smartest thing this morning. It’s open to interpretation of course.


44 posted on 05/22/2013 11:00:35 AM PDT by DoughtyOne (Funny thing happened on the way to the Constitution burning, Lefties rights were violated...)
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To: kidd

Regarding partial testimony, the ability to only address what you want, not what may incriminate you in the same proceeding.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3022577/posts?page=40#40


45 posted on 05/22/2013 11:02:48 AM PDT by DoughtyOne (Funny thing happened on the way to the Constitution burning, Lefties rights were violated...)
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To: kidd; All

Sorry, meant to make this an all post...

Regarding partial testimony, the ability to only address what you want, not what may incriminate you in the same proceeding.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3022577/posts?page=40#40


46 posted on 05/22/2013 11:03:50 AM PDT by DoughtyOne (Funny thing happened on the way to the Constitution burning, Lefties rights were violated...)
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To: DoughtyOne

Question, does the Congress have police power’s? If so, who enforces them by arrest etc.?


47 posted on 05/22/2013 11:09:36 AM PDT by V V Camp Enari 67-68 (Viet Vet)
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To: DoughtyOne
It is well established that a witness may not testify voluntarily about a subject and then invoke the privilege against self-incrimination when questioned about the details in a single proceeding.

I'm not a lawyer.I didn't even stay at a Holiday Inn last night.If,by chance,*you're* a lawyer do let us know and,having done so,your comments regarding legal issues will carry enormous weight with me and others at FR.But if you're not then it's likely that you'd have as little *practical* understanding of what's at the link you've provided as do I.

I understand "medicalese" quite well...having worked closely with physicians for many,many years and having been *required* to speak it in order to do my job properly.However I don't speak a word of "legalese" so the link you've provided means nothing to me.

48 posted on 05/22/2013 11:10:15 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Leno Was Right,They *Are* Undocumented Democrats!)
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To: DoughtyOne

I imagine that once she walked out she’s off the hook. She wouldn’t make the same mistake twice.


49 posted on 05/22/2013 11:11:02 AM PDT by skeeter
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To: V V Camp Enari 67-68
Question, does the Congress have police power’s? If so, who enforces them by arrest etc.?

I think that Congress only has the authority to *refer* matters to...wait for it....the Attorney General of the United States.

50 posted on 05/22/2013 11:12:01 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Leno Was Right,They *Are* Undocumented Democrats!)
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