Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz said Wednesday that Lois Lerner, the IRS official who oversaw exempt organizations during the admitted targeting of conservative political groups, could be held in contempt and even go to jail after her appearance at a congressional hearing earlier in the day.<quoted text>
B*llshyt....I suggest you check laws
Lerner’s lawyer, William W. Taylor, adamantly disagreed.“The law is clear that a witness does not waive her Fifth Amendment rights not to testify as to facts by asserting that she is innocent of the wrongdoing with which she is accused,” he wrote in an e-mail.
In an interview, Taylor said Lerner’s comments—which gave a thumbnail sketch of her division’s operation and the two investigations it has spurred in the offices of the Treasury inspector general and FBI — didn’t delve into the facts.“It simply said,‘This is what you guys accused me of, I’m not guilty of it.’”
ames Duane, a Fifth Amendment expert at Regent University, explained to New York magazine why Lerner was within her rights.(Duane made his comments after the hearing ended and before Issa made his announcement.)
“When [someone is] 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,” Duane said.
He also believes that “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.”
That theory will now get tested, since Issa indicated he may call Lerner back to testify again, without the ability to cite the Fifth Amendment.
Stan Brand, a former general counsel for the House of Representatives, told Politico that Lerner could have an issue if she waived her rights in prior appearances before Congress.
Prior to Lerner’s appearance, her attorney, William W. Taylor III, wrote to Issa and explained why his client was taking the Fifth Amendment.
Taylor said that prior claims by Issa that Lerner had provided misleading information to Congress on four occasions left his client without another option.
“She has not committed any crime or made any misrepresentation but under the circumstances she has no choice but to take this course,” Taylor said.
but not to worry, as I sure this will come up against a judge
Lerner made a brief opening statement — insisting she had "done nothing wrong" — before invoking her Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate herself. Some legal scholars, including Dershowitz, have said that in giving the opening statement, Lerner may have waived her Fifth Amendment protections.
"She's in trouble. She can be held in contempt," Dershowitz told "the Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV. "Congress ... can actually hold you in contempt and put you in the Congressional jail."
Dershowitz, who helped advise O.J. Simpson's defense team, said Lerner "should never have been allowed" to make her opening statement.
"You can't simply make statements about a subject and then plead the Fifth in response to questions about the very same subject," Dershowitz said. "Once you open the door to an area of inquiry, you have waived your Fifth Amendment right... you've waived your self-incrimination right on that subject matter."
Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/n...