Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I'm not sure if you heard about this or not, but apparently a staffer at the Department of Justice has invoked the Fifth Amendment and is refusing to testify before Congress. This isn't entirely unprecedented, but it's mostly been used by mobsters and such in the past. Here's the thing, though: the Fifth Amendment only covers criminal proceedings. In other words, the only legitimate claim of Fifth Amendment immunity is in order to avoid testifying, under oath, about your own criminal conduct. If she didn't commit a crime, then there's no immunity.

This means that only one of two things can be true here: Either she believes she committed a crime, in which case there really is something to be investigated here (especially as she is a fairly low level staffer), or this is a bogus claim, proffered in a desperate attempt to get out of testifying.

General consensus is that it's option two
. Her lawyer's letter essentially says that she's afraid to testify because she'll be prosecuted for perjury afterwards.

I agree that she's got a lousy choice here: tell the truth and be punished by the White House, or lie under oath. She's wisely choosing option three, which is to delay as much as possible until the White House gets its story straight or some other low-level staffer goes out and takes one for the team.

Note to self: Never work for anyone named Bush.

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