Issa: Lois Lerner Waived Her 5th Amendment Rights
As Orin Kerr points out, there is a lot of back and forth and varying opinions as to this matter, but not from Darrell Issa
(Politico) Lois Lerner might win the legal battle but she’s prolonging the political war.
Instead of simply taking the scorn of lawmakers for a day, repeatedly invoking the Fifth Amendment to avoid self-incrimination, and then moving on, she chose defiance.
And her bravado has prompted House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) to say she has waived her constitutional right to not comment.
Now, he plans to haul the director of the IRS’s tax-exempt department back to the committee for questioning.
“When I asked her her questions from the very beginning, I did so so she could assert her rights prior to any statement,” Issa told POLITICO. “She chose not to do so – so she waived.”
And well he should. As Judge Andrew Napolitano (who I’m no big fan of, being a somewhat 9/11 Truther) said on Fox News yesterday, Issa should go to a federal judge and get a subpoena to compel testimony along the lines of statement Lerner made at the beginning of her hearing time. I know Rush Limbaugh was a bit upset about letting her go (I heard the broadcast live while at the gym – yeah me!), but this is the wise choice. It allows time to go to a judge, and formulate questions specifically in tune with her statement.
Some think that there’s no way she comes back unless a deal is struck. Congress does have the power to compel people to come and testify, though, and if Issa thinks Lerner has something offer, he could drag her back, especially considering that she has testified previously.
Meanwhile, in the face of all the scandals, the Obama admin cries “squirrel”, stating that they’ve killed 4 Americans in drone strikes (all members of Al Qaeda, including Anwar al-Awlaki so good for Obama) and that Obama will “restrict” the use of drone strikes. Squirrel #2 is his bid to restart closing the detention facility at Club Gitmo, and having made a deal to send many of the vacationers to Yemen. Obama will give a Big Speech at today (I thought I heard at 930am, so, if that’s the case, he’ll deign to show up around 10am) about this.
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With a 60 to 39 vote, the Senate has passed the motion to proceed to move on with the debate