#IRS: Under the law . . .

. . . 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:

Director of IRS Unit Says She Won’t Testify

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?

  1. 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.

8 Comments

  1. As long as Eric Holder is Attorney General and Barack Obama retains the power to pardon, their various and several federal government accomplices and co-conspirators have little to fear from Congressional investigators. Legal liabilities therefore remain largely in the civil arena. Injured (TEA) parties may be able to bring civil suits for damages against the individual agency bureaucrats responsible.

    It’s not enough, but it’s all there is for now.

  2. Gowdy has a real set of BALLS in this Committee. Did you see what he did to Lerner. Lerner made an opening statement saying she didn’t do anything wrong and she’s innocent, then pleaded the 5th. Gowdy jumped right down her throat and told her that the opening statement negated her 5th amendment right to remain silent. Another BO acolyte wanting it both ways. I thought Lerner was going to crap herself.

  3. She certainly had a deer-in-the-headlights look.

    And she obviously has crappy attorneys: any decent lawyer could have told her that by making her initial statement, she was compromising her Fifth Amendment rights.

    This is why many criminal defendants don’t take the stand: once they have done so, called by their own attorney, they can’t just refuse to testify when the prosecution begins cross-examination.

  4. Lois Lerner is the naked face of an enemy of the people. Her career in government, first at the Federal Elections Commission and then at the IRS, has consisted of undermining the fundamental institutions of representative democracy by misusing the authority of her office to thwart the legal rights of her party’s political opponents. She is a malignant cancer growing on the republic.

  5. There is no way on this earth and in the heavens BO did not know what was going on. Ever notice if it reflects well on BO, he’s there taking 150% credit. If it reflects badly on BO, he has a -150% knowledge. Sorry, but he can’t have it both ways. He wanted to be the Chief Executive, so he buys all that goes with it. Ever notice obscure stuff he blames on Bush. Truman said the Buck Stops Here at his desk. With BO, it’s your Buck and 50 more that stops everywhere else. He’s so full of it, don’t squeeze him, or you’ll get Obama all over you.

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