Lois Lerner and her Catch 22

It has become apparent that Lois Lerner is going to invoke her fifth amendment right to not incriminate herself.  Rachel Bade and John Bresnahan wrote an article discussing the issues surrounding her use of the right.  Their article focused mainly on the maneuvering of the parties involved and the practical implications of their decisions.

There was a statement by Lois Lerner’s attorney, William W. Taylor III, that seems to undercut her use of the fifth amendment privilege.  Mr. Taylor is quoted as follows: ““If the court finds that she didn’t waive, then it’s over, and if the court finds that she did and orders her to testify, then she goes to testify,”Taylor said, later, adding that there is “no danger under any circumstances of her going to jail.””

This begs the question.  If there is no danger under any circumstances of Lois Lerner going to jail based on her testimony then what is the basis for exercising her fifth amendment rights?  One cannot assert the privilege because the testimony they are being asked to give is uncomfortable or will paint the testifier in a negative light.  One has to believe that their testimony may incriminate.  At best this statement by her attorney further muddies the water in an already murky situation.

Some may argue that this sentence was just an errant statement from her attorney.  I seriously doubt an attorney with the pedigree and experience of Mr. Taylor is in the practice of making errant statements to the press. I am, quite frankly, confused as to why he made that statement.


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