Skip to content
Archive of posts filed under the Fifth Amendment category.

Pagliano’s Contumacious Failure to Appear

Last night the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (COGR) voted to approve a contempt resolution for Bryan Pagliano, who failed to appear before the committee in response to a subpoena to testify. Pagliano, you may recall, is the IT specialist who was in charge of setting up Secretary of State Clinton’s private email [...]

Martin Shkreli’s Contempt for Congress

I have never seen anything like the deportment of this witness, who smirked and made various faces while taking the Fifth before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. At least his lawyer did not allow him to make an opening statement. Instead, the lawyer gave an impromptu press conference afterwards, in which he made [...]

Why Wouldn’t Congress Give Pagliano Immunity?

Bryan Pagliano, a former State Department staffer who helped to set up Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server, has informed several congressional committees, including the House Select Committee on Benghazi and the Senate Judiciary Committee, that he will invoke the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination if forced to appear before those committees to answer questions about [...]

The U.S. Attorney’s Troubling Decision in the Lois Lerner Case

Here is a link to US Attorney Ronald Machen’s letter to Speaker Boehner declining to submit the Lois Lerner contempt to the grand jury. Machen makes three points in this letter. First, he rejects the argument that the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform failed to follow proper procedures in notifying Lerner that her Fifth Amendment [...]

House Counsel on the Lerner Contempt

The House Counsel has issued this memorandum addressing the argument that Lois Lerner cannot be held in contempt because the Committee on Government Oversight and Reform failed to follow the proper procedures in overruling her objections. The memo provides additional factual detail regarding the committee’s actions and communications with Lerner and her counsel. House Counsel [...]

Can Lois Lerner Skate on a Technicality?

Updated: Mort Rosenberg’s response follows On a snowy day, what could be better than snuggling up with some 1950s Supreme Court cases and getting deep into the technicalities of congressional contempt procedure? If your answer is “just about anything,” you would not have enjoyed John Filamor’s going-away party. As it happens, I had a reason [...]

Lois Lerner and Waiver of Fifth Amendment Privilege

Everybody is talking about whether Lois Lerner waived her Fifth Amendment privilege by making an exculpatory opening statement at yesterday’s hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (eg, these posts at Hot Air and the Volokh Conspiracy). As Juliet Eilperin notes, “[l]ike a lot of legal questions, it depends on whom you [...]

Taking the Fifth Before Congress

In a letter to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform yesterday, Lois Lerner’s attorney (veteran DC lawyer William Taylor) informed the committee of her intention to invoke her Fifth Amendment rights at today’s committee hearing. Taylor said that she should not be required to appear at the hearing because to do so would [...]

Ethical Dilemma

Friday’s letter from the House Ethics Committee indicates that Billy Martin was asked “to review allegations that this Committee violated due process rights or rules attaching to Representative Waters.” Martin was also asked “to address whether recusal of any Members of the Committee should be considered and when would be the most appropriate time for [...]