Friday, May 24, 2013

Ah, the 5th Amendment!

 The one that protects against SELF INCRIMINATION. It reads:

"No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

Lois Lerner likes the part about: “…nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself,…”

One might be tempted to think she had been involved in something criminal.

When testifying before Congress on Wednesday, May 22nd, 2913, Lois invoked her "5th amendment rights." (These rights are much more "rights" than the right to bear arms, of course.)

She told Congress that accusations that she had misled Congress in previous testimony were false.

“I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws,” said Ms. Lerner, who leads the IRS’s division on tax-exempt organizations. Then she invoked the 5th.

The IRS’s division on tax-exempt organizations office formerly held by Sarah Hall Ingram, commissioner of the office responsible for tax-exempt organizations from 2009 to 2012. The division included the group that targeted Tea Partiers and other conservative individuals and organizations. Ingram has since left to serve as director of the IRS' Affordable Care Act division. You know, the unit responsible for enforcing parts of the health care law, including the fines associated with the so-called individual mandate. Really?

Among other things, we can see what an administrative mess the IRS is by how it organizes to get its work done.

“I have not violated any I.R.S. rules and regulations, and I have not provided false information to this or any other Congressional committee,” proclaimed Lerner.

If she had done nothing wrong, how could she possibly witness against herself?

Nevertheless, she must feel as though there is enough in her closet to hide that she didn't want Congress to know about it.

I remember during the Watergate hearings, when I was in college and watched them every day, how many witnesses invoked the 5th. I remember how they were castigated for doing so. “They must be guilty if they have something to hide,” was the press’ mantra.

What is their mantra about this invocation?

They don’t have one. They tried to ignore it, then tried to push it under the rug, but the truth came out and they were forced to cover it.

In the mean time, Ms. Lerner has sent the following in an email to her employees in the exempt-organizations division she oversees stating, “Due to the events of recent days, I am on administrative leave starting today. An announcement will be made shortly informing you who will be acting while I am on administrative leave.”

(Actually, she was placed on administrative leave.)

So, the woman who headed one of the most ruthless departments in the country, who is innocent of any wrong-doing and who apparently thinks Congress is a bunch of bullies, has been pushed out of the way
to avoid the pressures of the fray?

That’s an interesting tactic, don’t you think?


Ducky's here said...

“I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws,” said Ms. Lerner, who leads the IRS’s division on tax-exempt organizations. Then she invoked the 5th.

Her innocence has nothing to do with her right to invoke the 5th Amendment.

She is free to invoke the right in face of the witch hunt.
No problem here.

Joe said...

Ducky: Everybody is free to invoke the 5th amendment. But if you're not afraid you have done something criminal (which is the specific thing the 5th protects: self incrimination), why would you?

"...compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself..."

Is testifying before Congress a criminal case?

Xavier Onassis said...

Maybe she just didn't want to waste her time answering questions from that clown Darrell Issa and his witch hunting buddies.

Joe said...

XO: And you think the 5th amendment was for people who just didn't want to answer anything from whomever they choose?

Xavier Onassis said...

Joe - You and yours crack me up. You want to stick to cery, very strict definitions when it comes to the 5th Amendment. "Words mean what they mean!"

But as soon as the 2nd Amendent comes up for discussion you can find ALL SORTS of creative and convoluted linguistic tricks to avoid the meaning of those words "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state...".

You and yours are also fond of saying that The Constitution is NOT a living document! It means exactly what it meant when it was written and is not subject to interpretation or adaptation.

I which case the "arms" that the founders were referring to were muzzle-loaded muskets and nothing else, ever.

Yeah, y'all sure do like to cherry pick the Constitution, don't you?

boedicca said...

It's looking like she took the 5th because she knew she was going to be put on administrative leave. She is clamming up while she still has leverage to negotiate a deal. The Obamanoids are desperate to have somebody take the fall. Just like in the Benghazi scandal. Now I know why I hate progressives. They just stole the liberal moniker when people realized how nuts progressives were.

Joe said...

XO: No more than you convolute the phrase: "...the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Notice it is the people, not the government.

"The Constitution is NOT a living document!"

I have NEVER said that. It lives and breathes through the amendment process, not by judicial or administrative decree.