Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Taking the Fifth...

I've been pondering this one. I wasn't sure I liked the fact that someone at the Justice Department would be taking the fifth on something that is clearly a political game with no real ethical issues. I pondered it right up until I heard this quote:
“It is disappointing that Ms. Goodling has decided to withhold her important testimony from the Committee as it pursues its investigation into this matter, but everybody has the constitutional right not to incriminate themselves with regard to criminal conduct.

“The American people are left to wonder what conduct is at the base of Ms. Goodling’s concern that she may incriminate herself in connection with criminal charges if she appears before the Committee under oath.“
Why thanks for that perspective Senator McCarthy Leahy. Posturing Goodling's concern as a dodge on criminal activity is perfect. Your methods are pretty much as expected.

Let's look at why she chose to go with the fifth.
Goodling’s counselors at Akin Gump, John Dowd and Jeffrey King, sent a letter to Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) explaining their advice to Goodling, arguing that the committee’s process “is politically charged and lacks fundamental fairness.” Dowd and King also alleged that a senior Justice official told Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) that he inadvertently lied to the Judiciary panel after being improperly briefed by Goodling and other aides.

“The hostile and questionable environment that has been created by the members of the Judiciary Committee in the present proceedings, including the accusations by Department of Justice officials to members of the committee about Ms. Goodling, is at best ambiguous; more accurately the environment can be described as perilous for Ms. Goodling,” Dowd and King wrote.
I wonder if McCarthy Leahy read the letter before or after making his statement. Not that it probably would matter, since the excessive poor judgment on making the statement will place him right in that row of jackasses who can twist someones testimony like origami and bring prejury charges if he doesn't like the testimony.
“The potential for legal jeopardy for Ms. Goodling from even her most truthful and accurate testimony under these circumstances is very real,” Dowd and King continued. “One need look no further than the recent circumstances and proceedings involving Lewis Libby.”
Nice little game of assassination that McCarthy Leahy is playing here. It's good to see McCarthyism alive and well in the US capital.

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