Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Taking the Fifth -- More Problems in the AG's House

The actual procedure of taking the Fifth Amendment can present many procedural difficulties for the individual intending to invoke this Amendment.  This is particularly true in high profile and political cases, as the effect of taking the Fifth may lead some to believe that the individual is guilty.

CBSNews reports that Representatives Conyors and Sanchez want Monica Goodling, former adviser to AG Gonzales and liaison to the White House, to talk with them despite her attorney's statement that she will take the Fifth Amendment. The article focuses on whether she is entitled to use this Amendment in this context.

Whatever view one takes of the rightfulness of Goodling being able to take the Fifth Amendment, the procedure may be a problem for her.  If the Committee demands that she appear, it may find her responding to each specific question with an assertion of the Amendment.  After several questions one can find the questioning itself very telling. An alternative here would be for her to talk with the committee members informally.

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