Sunday, May 26, 2013

Lerner Too Clever By Half

Lois Lerner has waived her right to refuse to answer questions.
By  Andrew C. McCarthy  May 23, 2013
Former Senator Fred Thompson, who was a tremendous trial lawyer long before he played one on TV, has an excellent column on the home-page this morning about Lois Lerner’s gamesmanship yesterday — first testifying to her fully exculpatory version of events in the IRS’s scandalous targeting of conservative activists, then refusing to answer the House oversight committee’s questions. (I wrote a post about this here on the Corner last night.) 
Fred observes that committee chairman Darrell Issa had never seen anyone pull that stunt before, and neither had Fred. But as I noted in my post, it happens from time to time — which, of course, is why the “selectivity” rule that Fred describes exists. As it happens, I’ve not only seen it happen, I’ve prosecuted someone for doing it.
In the “Pizza Connection” case of the mid-eighties (at 17 months, still the longest federal criminal trial in history, I believe), our lead defendant, Gaetano Badalamenti (the boss of the Sicilian mafia), gave direct testimony that was fully exculpatory with regard to the drug and racketeering charges against him. At the conclusion of his direct, he indicated that he would not answer questions about various subjects……judge properly found that Badalamenti had waived his privilege against self-incrimination He was then cross-examined…. [and] persisted in refusing to answer over 75 questions, despite repeatedly being directed to answer by the judge — each refusal being a contempt of court....To Read More....

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