House votes to hold Lois Lerner in contempt

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by g8orbill, May 7, 2014.

  1. GatorBen

    GatorBen Well-Known Member

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    Nuance, my friend.

    Waiver is a really fact specific determination. You have to have voluntarily given potentially incriminating evidentiary testimony (that is, testimony about facts) for there to be a waiver. It's not at all clear that she testified as to any factual matters at all.

    If I'm advising her, not giving that two paragraph introduction would have clearly been the safer play, I'll say that up front. But you're listening to someone trying to sell you a bill if they have told you that it's cut and dried waiver.
  2. GatorBen

    GatorBen Well-Known Member

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    One more point:

    This is all political theater. You can tell by what they didn't do yesterday.

    A criminal contempt of Congress conviction (if DOJ gets it) can put someone in jail for up to year. But it doesn't really compel them to go back and answer your questions.

    If they really want a ruling on the waiver argument and to get a judge to order Lerner to testify, they would need to also approve a civil contempt resolution, which authorizes the Committee that issued the subpoena to litigate the issue and have a court rule on the disagreement and order the person to respond to the subpoena if the Committee wins.

    Congress hasn't done anything on the civil contempt front at all. Which pretty strongly suggests that they aren't terribly interested in actually forcing Lerner to testify, since that's the route that you would go to do so.
  3. g8tr80

    g8tr80 Well-Known Member

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    Its not cut and dried I agree. Therefore I look forward to the ruling from the justice department. However, IMHO the justice department will make no such ruling - either way - they will just stonewall, vote present (barely) and proceed with things more important to them.

    And what is the consequence? The present all all future Presidents get to use the IRS like the sword of Damocles in their never ending quest for power. That would be horrible.
  4. uftaipan

    uftaipan Well-Known Member

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    That statement is not evidentiary testimony in your studied legal opinion? So how would you characterize it then?
  5. tegator80

    tegator80 Well-Known Member

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    Just jumping into you conversation for a short bit. What I find so disappointing is this proceeding - on any plain - and in contrast those of the Watergate proceedings. The politicians then saw a real crisis of overreaching executive power and the implications for the future and they took their oaths of upholding the law seriously and with proceeded with great discernment. This is a bunch of silly crap (implications withstanding) that is all about minor political moves and a hope for some pulse by the general population as to whether it has any merit. And of course no one out here gives a crap when there are other things to worry about, like the new smart phones and the American Idol finalists. You know, the real important stuff.
  6. GatorBen

    GatorBen Well-Known Member

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    The argument would be that they are legal conclusions or pure opinions that don't speak to any actual facts.

    In essence that you can assert innocence and still claim the 5th (it's clear that you can do that) and that her initial comments didn't constitute anything beyond a claim of innocence and didn't testify as to any factual matters.
  7. uftaipan

    uftaipan Well-Known Member

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    If she merely said "I'm innocent" I would take your point. Innocent of what? It's vague enough. When she said, "I have not violated any [emphasis added] IRS rules or regulations" I respectfully submit that she opened herself to questioning about specific rules and regulations: "What about this one, which says this, did you violate that when you directed this?"
  8. GatorBen

    GatorBen Well-Known Member

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    Just asking her whether she violated specific rules would be objectionable in its own right for another reason: it's improperly calling for a pure legal conclusion from a lay witness.

    For her testimony to have any meaning whatsoever they need to be able to get at the underlying facts that they think would show misconduct, and there's a pretty significant question as to whether a statement that just makes unsupported legal conclusions, without any factual support whatsoever, would be testimony about facts sufficient to open that door.
  9. gatordowneast

    gatordowneast Well-Known Member

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    The vote to hold Lerner in contempt received 6 more Democratic votes than Obamacare received Pub votes. I have a sneaking suspicion that the 6 Democrats who opposed the party line, may be viewed more favorably by the voters than the Red State Democrats who imposed Obamacare on the masses.
  10. g8rnbft

    g8rnbft VIP Member

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  11. tegator80

    tegator80 Well-Known Member

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    See Anderson, Greg. A lot of jurisprudence, nothing else. Lock her up but I don't think it is politically worthy.
  12. fredsanford

    fredsanford VIP Member

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    Nobody's getting locked up.

    Sent from my SM-N900T using Tapatalk
  13. tegator80

    tegator80 Well-Known Member

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    I said they could, but for what reason? Unless they can make a solid case that the IRS is a blunt instrument of the executive branch but that now it has been fashioned (potentially) into a selective one then I don't see anything to gain.

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