. . . a jury may not infer that a person is guilty of anything simply because he has exercised his Fifth Amendment right not to testify on the basis that he might incriminate himself. Your Editor, however, is not on a jury, and may infer anything he wishes! From THE WALL STREET JOURNAL:
Head of Unit at Center of Controversy Involving Conservative Groups Won’t Answer Congress’s Questions
By John D McKinnon, Siobhan Hughes and Damian Paletta | Updated May 21, 2013, 12:59 p.m. ET
WASHINGTON—Lois Lerner, the head of the Internal Revenue Service office that targeted conservative groups, intends to invoke her constitutional right against self-incrimination and decline to answer questions about the matter when questioned by a congressional committee Wednesday.
Ms. Lerner, director of the tax-exempt-organizations division at the IRS, notified the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform through her attorney that she wouldn’t answer questions on the matter, according to a committee spokesman.
Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) will require her to appear at the hearing anyway, a spokesman said Tuesday.
“Chairman Issa remains hopeful that she will ultimately decide to testify tomorrow about her knowledge of outrageous IRS targeting of Americans for their political beliefs,” said the spokesman, Ali Ahmad.
More at the link.
Your Editor suspects that Mrs Lerner’s attorney will be angling for immunity from prosecution1; such immunity would require her to testify, whether she wished to do so or not, or be held in contempt of Congress. Your Editor also suspects that the Obama Administration’s people will, quietly, of course, be telling Mrs Lerner to do everything she possibly can to not testify.
How much do I trust the Obama Administration? Is less than zero a possible answer?
- Use immunity, a different form, would hold that nothing in her testimony could be used against her, but would not be immunity from prosecution based on evidence developed independently. ↩