Trey Gowdy has been a bulldog in his quest to reach the bottom of the IRS targeting scandal.
It is this tenacity that is one of the reasons the GOP needs more of him, and more like him.
Trey Gowdy continues to hound Lois Lerner, and the Democrats that are trying to shield her, by pointing out the hypocrisy of her pleading the Fifth to avoid testimony, yet prefacing that with a statement about her innocence, which he claims waived the privilege of self-incrimination.
(H/T: Right Scoop)
Gowdy begins by repeating an oft-heard phrase in courtrooms, which states that defendants have a right to remain silent, and plead the Fifth to avoid self-incrimination, but if they decide to take the stand or testify, they will be treated like every other witness.
“But not for powerful people in government, just for everyday folks.”
“Mr. Chairman, I counted 17 different factual assertions by Mrs. Lerner,…that is a lot of talking for someone that wants to remain silent.”
“If you honestly believe that you can make 17 separate factual assertions, and still invoke your right to remain silent, then please tell me what waiver is?”
“She testified that I have done nothing wrong, I have broken no laws, I’ve broken no IRS rules or regulations, that was her testimony. We should have the right to cross-examine her on that testimony.”
“I’d like to ask her, when you said “we need a plan”, who is “we”, and what “plan” are you referring too? When she said “we need to be careful this is not perceived as political”, who is “we” and what are you concerned about the perception of politics for?”
Gowdy continues on to rattle off a number of legitimate questions about her testimony and the content of her emails, and asks again, what exactly constitutes a waiver of privilege if partial testimony does not.
“I’m just gonna say this in conclusion, the same Constitution that allows her the right, if she wants to, to sit there and say nothing, allows these groups the right to petition their government for redress.”
Once again, Trey Gowdy is dead-on in his assessment. Somebody cannot claim their Fifth Amendment right to remain silent once they have already begun testimony. While they can possibly avoid answering further questions, they are open to cross-examination on what they have already testified about and can be compelled to answer.
Lois Lerner did indeed waive her rights to plead the Fifth Amendment, not only when she made an opening statement under oath, but also when she testified to the DOJ investigation. Her answers to the DOJ can be looked at, re-asked and cross-examined by Congress without constituting a violation of her right against self-incrimination.
Lois Lerner needs to be held in contempt of Congress, fully prosecuted for her role in the IRS targeting scandal, and thrown in jail. Furthermore, Trey Gowdy needs to be the next Speaker of the House, to bring his leadership skills and no-holds-barred attitude to the entire GOP of Congress.