Bad day getting worse

The moment his press conference finished, Christie’s former man at the Port Authority, David Wildstein, just got hauled in front of a committee of the New Jersey Assembly. He tried to take the 5th Amendment. Only the Assembly hearing is not a judicial court so you can’t do that.

Will Wildstein change his strategy or will they haul him off for contempt? Watch live and find out.

***Update***

Correction: Wildstein can take the fifth, but if they offer him immunity then he has to testify. At least as I understand it.

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352 replies
  1. 1
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    I’d like to take the fifth please.

    You can’t do that here.

    No I meant do you have anything to drink?

  2. 2
    muricafukyea says:

    First of all, there is NO FUCKING WAY Christie didn’t know about this. NO WAY! If you want absolute proof just ask wr0ng way Cole who I am quite sure believes everything Christie says.

  3. 3
    muricafukyea says:

    First of all, there is NO FUCKING WAY Christie didn’t know about this. NO WAY! If you want absolute proof just ask wr0ng way Cole who I am quite sure believes everything Christie says.

  4. 4
    muricafukyea says:

    First of all, there is NO FUCKING WAY Christie didn’t know about this. NO WAY! If you want absolute proof just ask wr0ng way Cole who I am quite sure believes everything Christie says.

  5. 5
    chopper says:

    jesus, every answer out of his attorney is ‘he’s claiming the 5th’.

    dude himself hasn’t said a word.

  6. 6
    JasonF says:

    Not a criminal lawyer and it’s been a while since law school, but I’m fairly certain you can take the Fifth any time you’re being asked to testify to things that might be used against you in a subsequent criminal prosecution. Remember Ollie North and Brendan Sullivan.

  7. 7
    Bloix says:

    ‘Course you can. You can’t be compelled in any forum to testify as to facts that might incriminate you in a crime. People take the Fifth before legislative committees all the time.

    See http://www.usatoday.com/story/.....r/2350689/

  8. 8
    The Tragically Flip says:

    You can use the 5th in any compulsary testimony setting. If you’re subpoenaed to a legislative body, and a truthful answer to a question may incriminate you, you can plead the 5th (I think, IANAL). Otherwise the legislature could punish you for contempt for refusing to answer some question.

    Legislatures have “court-like” features dating back from the original British Parliament (and the US Senate even conducts impeachment trials like a court).

  9. 9
    dmsilev says:

    I wonder what will happen once Bridget Underbus is invited to testify. I assume she’ll also start out with a horrible case of silence-itis.

  10. 10
    Elizabelle says:

    We’re going to put on weight from the popcorn snacking and drinking games!

  11. 11
    GregB says:

    Mobsters always demand Omerta from their underlings.

    One wouldn’t expect this behavior from the colleagues of a Governor who is a former prosecutor.

  12. 12
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @muricafukyea:

    Derp, derp, derp.

    In triplicate!

  13. 13
    Daffodil's Mom says:

    Uh, I wonder how many of them know that today is Nixon’s birthday. Lovely karma, that. ;~)

  14. 14
    ShadeTail says:

    Only the Assembly hearing is not a judicial court so you can’t do that.

    Say what now? You most certainly *can* invoke the fifth amendment before a legislative hearing. Where did you get the idea that you can’t?

    EDIT: Never mind, I see you corrected that.

  15. 15
    Elizabelle says:

    I’m gonna take a walk in a few, but do tell me if we ever see an OJ type Chris Christie motorcade to Fort Lee. To see the mayor who doesn’t particularly care if Christie swings by or not.

    OK? That would be one cherry on the day.

    (And — whoever suggested it last thread — it would be beyond perfect if no press were allowed into the personal apology session …)

  16. 16
    kindness says:

    So many idiots. So little time.

  17. 17
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    “Anything you say can be used to incriminate you in a court of law.”

    Taking the Fifth without an ironclad agreement of immunity is the wise thing to do, even if it looks bad.

    The legislative committee needs to give him an offer to flip on Christie. Make it attractive enough, and his lawyer will allow him to spill the beans.

    “Yes, Mr. Chairman, I understood that an email from Bridget Ann Kelly was the equivalent of the Governor asking me to do something, so I asked how high?”

  18. 18
    smintheus says:

    Anybody else notice that, by his own account, Christie called his aides together to get to the bottom of the scandal only on Dec. 10…that is, 8 days after the press conference in which he dismissed the matter sarcastically.

  19. 19
    Jack the Second says:

    Some days it saddens me deeply that people confuse the right to not answer questions with a presumption of guilt.

    Some days it makes me giggle.

  20. 20
    coin operated says:

    The way I understand it too. An immunity deal wipes out the 5th. Contradictory concepts…

    One of these people, after having the bus backed over them a couple times, will flip.

  21. 21
    Violet says:

    Christie claimed he barely knew Wildstein. I hope there are photos out there of them together in high school, hanging out in bars, working together, going to each others kid’s birthday parties, etc. Get on it, internet!

  22. 22
    chopper says:

    don’t think the dude’s refusal to answer a single question is going to make this go away any faster. i’m sure it’s gotten the attention of the us attorney as well.

  23. 23
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @smintheus:

    Well, apparently, the problem was that his staff didn’t tell him there was an email trail that served as a smoking gun emanating from his own office.

    That was the lie that pissed him off. Not that they did his bidding, but that it could be traced back to him.

  24. 24
    srv says:

    Howie Kurtz at Fox:

    Let’s not mince words here: Robert Gates has just betrayed the president who appointed him and gave him the Medal of Freedom.

    Not because the former Defense secretary has written a book ripping Barack Obama for his handling of the war in Afghanistan: Gates has every right to do that. Not because he described Obama as failing to trust the military: he has every right to do that as well.

    No, the betrayal involves the disclosure of private conversations that Obama had every reason to believe would remain confidential. How can a president conduct candid conversations with his inner circle if he fears he’s providing fodder for a future best-seller?

    Remember, the closer we get to the Wingularity Event Horizon, crazy people start saying sane things.

  25. 25
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @srv:

    Stopped clock, etc.

    Mistah Kurtz, he still cocksucka.

  26. 26
    Gin & Tonic says:

    I’m betting at 6:00 am tomorrow Chris is on Morning Ho getting a blowjob.

  27. 27
    jewelbomb says:

    I’ll take some small satisfaction in the fact that Wildstein has looked like he is going to cry throughout the whole thing.

  28. 28
    Roger Moore says:

    @Jack the Second:

    Some days it saddens me deeply that people confuse the right to not answer questions with a presumption of guilt.

    People aren’t confusing the right not to answer questions with a presumption of guilt. They’re making a logical inference from a giant steaming pile of incriminating evidence and a refusal to answer questions to guilt. It’s not the same thing at all.

  29. 29
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @srv: Bullshit. Any POTUS with two brain cells to rub together has to know that anything he says in any “candid” conversation with anyone other than his wife can appear in somebody’s book.

  30. 30
    GregB says:

    @Jack the Second:

    Don’t piss all over my parade here. I am well aware of the rights and presumptions in criminal cases. That won’t get in the way of snark, innuendo and political schadenfreude.

  31. 31
    Origuy says:

    I haven’t read much about Gates’ book, but it sounds to me like an application for wingnut welfare.

  32. 32
    Belafon says:

    @jewelbomb: His BFF just said they don’t know each other. How would you feel?

  33. 33
    muricafukyea says:

    The guy even looks like a typicalRepublican vindictive asshole.

  34. 34
    RaflW says:

    Christie’s audio clip on NPR at the top of the past hour was “I am not a bully.” I’m thinking that’s his Nixonian moment.

    Ha—ha.

  35. 35
    Charlie Dodgson says:

    According to the committee’s legal counsel, Wildstein already had immunity for the hearing, and they just voted to hold him in contempt.

  36. 36
    beltane says:

    @Charlie Dodgson: Amazing how this guy is so willing to go to jail rather than spill the beans on his not-friend from high school.

  37. 37
    Corner Stone says:

    “Promise Zones” WTF? What is wrong with these people?

  38. 38
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Charlie Dodgson:

    Well.

    Bring on the sergeant at arms. Toss him in the cooler. Let him think a bit about the error of his ways.

    Also, time to notify the state bar about his lawyer’s malpractice.

  39. 39
    Big R says:

    I’ve been watching “The Thick Of It” because a holiday gift-giver could not remember the name of the show I described as “The West Wing in Westminster” (hint: it’s called “Party Animals”), and I’m reminded, reading all of this, of a line from general abuser/dog’s body/PM press man/bloodthirsty Scotsman Malcolm Tucker:

    “Don’t you ever call me a bully. I’m so much worse than that.”

  40. 40
    Corner Stone says:

    @beltane: Taking the fifth is the best available choice. It doesn’t hinder him from testifying in the future and it gives him max leverage to negotiate terms with all interested parties.

  41. 41
    beltane says:

    @RaflW: “I am not a bully. Next time you call me a bully I’m gonna f*ck you up.”

    What’s that thing about “Do not think of an elephant”? I think it applies here.

  42. 42
    EconWatcher says:

    @Jack the Second: @Roger Moore:

    It’s long been the law that you can use someone’s invocation of the Fifth against them, to draw bad inferences, in a civil suit. You just can’t do it in a criminal case.

    The Fifth Amendment is an important right, with origins in the long historical battle against torture. But it doesn’t reflect some kind of morality about how people should interpret information in everyday life. Without good explanation, in everyday life people treat it as an indication of guilt, and that’s usually fair and reasonable.

    It’s somewhat like thinking (as Sarah Palin apparently does) that the First Amendment means you shouldn’t be critcized for expressing noxious opinions. Not at all. You just should incur governmental punishment for it.

  43. 43
    Trollhattan says:

    Love irony and all, but post title needs to be “Great Day Getting Better.”

  44. 44
    Corner Stone says:

    @beltane: He denied being a bully somewhere between 8 and eleventy times.
    I’d like to see a full transcript just to count how many times the word bully was used by everyone.

  45. 45
    beltane says:

    @Corner Stone: But they said he already was granted immunity. If he was already granted immunity, this is not about the 5th amendment. It’s about being willing to fall on one’s sword for the good of the boss.

  46. 46
    Corner Stone says:

    @EconWatcher:

    Without good explanation, in everyday life people treat it as an indication of guilt, and that’s usually fair and reasonable.

    That is an absolutely awful perspective.

  47. 47
    Corner Stone says:

    @beltane: That’s immunity from one interested party, but not all.

  48. 48
    slippytoad says:

    @jewelbomb:

    I’d like to see that motherfucker cry in front of all the commuters he boned that morning, and the family of the woman who died waiting for EMS to show up. I’d like to see him sit while they all got to ream him verbally about what an immature child he is.

    I think making that asswipe do that, and broadcasting it on Youtube for all eternity, would do a lot to prevent anyone, regardless of who they are, from pulling such a childish stunt like that. Just force them to sit and listen to all of the people they anonymously fucked with get to scream at them.

  49. 49
    RaflW says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Mistah Kurtz, he still cocksucka.

    Call him an asshole. Call him an unmitigated disaster. A nattering nabob, a jerkwad of epic proportions, or whatever.

    But it’s 2014, can we stop with the notion that cocksucka is an insult? Or is this still the 9th grade boy’s locker room, with all it’s insecurities, angst and posturing?

    *This is not to say that I’m not enjoying all the Christie hoopla. It’s quite fun.

  50. 50
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @beltane:

    “So, if you mention extortion again, I’ll have your legs broken.” — Mayor Carmine DePasto

  51. 51
    Jay C says:

    Looks like Tim called it: “hauled off for Contempt” it is, according to live-blogging. Wonder if old Dave is going to enjoy the hospitality of Trenton’s Finest….

    Or will he bust out, and they’ll have to send Stephanie Plum after him??

  52. 52
    Charlie Dodgson says:

    Wildstein’s attorney just said, in nearly so many words, that a guarantee of immunity from the prosecutors is not enough; he suggested that if the Attorneys General of both states (New York, New Jersey) and the U.S. Attorney General committed in advance not to prosecute, then his client would be more willing to answer the committee’s questions. (Hard-hitting questions like “is this an email?”, to which Wildstein repeatedly took the fifth.)

    Who is this guy, and what makes him think such a deal is even possible?

  53. 53
    Mandalay says:

    @Corner Stone:

    He denied being a bully somewhere between 8 and eleventy times.

    He also bragged that he hadn’t yelled at his staff for four weeks. The guy is a fucking teddy bear.

  54. 54
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @beltane: IANAL, but can a state legislature grant immunity from potential Federal criminal prosecution?

  55. 55
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @RaflW:

    Ralf…it’s a play on a meme from Atrois’ comments years ago. One specifically aimed at Howard Kurtz.

  56. 56
    Trollhattan says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    God I hope so. He’ll compliment Mika on her chest, only not using the word “chest,” and they’ll offer him one “thin leetle mint.”

    The Hindenburg parallels are too many to count. Oh, the inhumanity!

  57. 57
    Charlie Dodgson says:

    Ooops… meant to say that a guarantee of immunity from the committee is not enough; they need to hear it from the prosecutors as well.

  58. 58
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Well, that’s a good question. Ollie North’s convictions for his crimes were overturned based on a grant of immunity by a congressional committee for testimony.

    One case where “legal technicalities” for getting off are perfectly OK if the criminal in question is a white Rethuglican asshole.

  59. 59
    rikyrah says:

    What #bridgegate tells us about the GOP
    By Liberal Librarian

    I know we’ve all had a laugh at New Jersey governor Chris Christie’s fall from grace. Documents have come to light that his top aides were involved in closing access lanes to the George Washington Bridge as political payback for the mayor of Fort Lee not giving Christie his endorsement for re-election. And his marathon news conference today, even though being massaged by the feckless national punditry, was a farce of gigantic proportions.

    But there’s something serious underlying the Christie debacle.

    In a fit of vindictiveness, he either ordered an act which would perforce put lives at risk, or, like Henry II, mumbled “Will no one rid me of this turbulent mayor”, and loyal aides knowing his bent acted upon his ambiguous wishes. Either way, Christie does not come off well.

    His press conference was a master class in GOP damage control. He spent the majority of the conference in casting himself as the victim. Another chunk he spent in excoriating his mendacious staff for lying to him. (Note, he was angry for them “lying” to him, not for their actions.) He spared almost no thought for the very real danger in which he put the people he was elected to serve.

    That speaks to the core of the modern Republican Party. It really has no concern for regular people. They’re merely voters to be conned into supporting the party. Once electoral success is achieved, they can be dispensed with as so many pawns on chessboard. The GOP playbook when caught in malfeasance is to cast about for blame, play the victim, and ignore the real damage done. We see this in the fight over unemployment insurance. Anyone with a soul would realize that there people who are still feeling the aftershocks of the Great Recession, and that help is still needed. But those people are so much chaff for a wider political agenda, which is to destroy the last vestiges of the Great Society, which the modern GOP hates with a visceral hatred.

    Christie is merely the grandest expression of a deeply seeded Republican pathology. Republicans love their country; they just happen to hate most of the people who inhabit it. People are merely means to an end, and that end is power. The powerful to whom they’re handmaidens have no concern for ordinary people, and that mindset informs their political minions. One could say that their worldview boils down to “The beatings will continue until morale improves”; however, they don’t care about morale, they just employ the beatings to maintain control.

    So, as we chuckle and chortle at Chris Christie, remember that the clown masks a deadly serious persona. The bullying, the misanthropy, and the lack of empathy are not bugs; they’re a well-designed feature.

    http://theobamadiary.com/2014/.....t-the-gop/

  60. 60
    Trollhattan says:

    @RaflW:

    Are you suggesting it’s not? ‘Cause if anybody says that to me….

  61. 61
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mandalay: Yeah, and the thing he yelled at them about was this bridge business. Certainly a confidence inspiring move, to yell at people and then ask them to commit career suicide.

  62. 62
    beltane says:

    @Corner Stone: Although not as good from the entertainment perspective, it’s probably best if an immunity deal is struck with the US Attorney.

  63. 63
    NonyNony says:

    @Charlie Dodgson:

    Wildstein’s attorney just said, in nearly so many words, that a guarantee of immunity from the prosecutors is not enough; he suggested that if the Attorneys General of both states (New York, New Jersey) and the U.S. Attorney General committed in advance not to prosecute, then his client would be more willing to answer the committee’s questions.

    Holy crap – what kind of bodies does this guy Wildstein have buried in his closet?

    Actually, though, there are folks who are saying that this little stunt might just violate federal anti-terrorism statutes (because they’re broadly written and this impacted a major transportation route) so maybe he’s just scared to death that he’s going to find himself on the end of some laws that he never in a million years thought would apply to him.

  64. 64

    @muricafukyea: I don’t remember that at all. I got that Cole said he wasn’t a Gohmert. That’s pretty fucking faint praise.

  65. 65
    Corner Stone says:

    @Trollhattan: I always say it with love.

  66. 66
    Violet says:

    The Wildstein guy has such a pouty lower lip it’s almost comical. The camera angle from the side makes him look like a middle school boy who’s been hauled to the principal’s office. He looks absolutely pathetic.

    Since he’s been charged with contempt, what happens next? Does he go to jail? Is he falling on his sword for Christie or is he protecting himself or both? Don’t understand the strategy here.

  67. 67
    EconWatcher says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Why is that awful?

    I’m a formal criminal defense lawyer, and a big supporter of the Fifth Amendment, the Miranda ruling, and other protections for criminal suspects in a court of law. But if someone stole my car and my neighbor refused to answer questions about it, I’d certainly see that as an indication he may be guilty.

    I wouldn’t want his silence used against him in criminal court. But if I sued him for my loss, I’d want adverse inferences to be drawn against him in the civil suit, as they can be under the law.

    Why is that awful?

  68. 68
    beltane says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I believe it’s beyond their jurisdiction. Furthermore, all legislatures, especially the US Congress, have a tendency to mess these things up in a way which hinders actual prosecution of the crime.

  69. 69
    Corner Stone says:

    @beltane: I agree, I wanted him to pull a Charlie Songbird.
    But his interests are best served, IMO, by telling this committee to go stuff themselves.
    What if he answered their questions and then in a civil suit with the family of that 91 yr old woman they say, “In testimony before blah blah blah, you said…”
    Or other things which could be even nastier.

  70. 70
    Yatsuno says:

    @Trollhattan: If we’re playing the game of full honesty, I’m a cocksucka. And a pretty damn good one too. So to me it’s not an insult insomuch as it’s really kind of lazy. The English language is full of beautiful demeaning insults, why choose that one? It does have slight traces of homophobia, though I’m quite proud of my blowjob giving skills. I dunno, so little bugs me anymore these days anyway.

  71. 71
    jehrler says:

    I thought there were limitations on taking the 5th…specifically that the answer to those questions might put you in criminal legal jeopardy, not just that you don’t want to answer.

    I’m not sure asking someone what the date stamp says on a document they provided qualifies.

  72. 72
    Violet says:

    @Yatsuno: Hey there! How goes the recovery? Did you get to the ranch? How did that go?

  73. 73
    chopper says:

    @Violet:

    maybe he can stew in the pokey for a few and figure it out. i’m sure he’s going to have a nice meeting or two with the prosecutors and a nice deal will be floated.

  74. 74
    Corner Stone says:

    @EconWatcher: I’m of the opinion that the constitution matters, and try my best to not hold it against someone by instinct when they avail themselves of its protections.
    I don’t like the permeating thought that the automatic assumption should be presumed guilt. In a setting of courts and jurisprudence, I mean.
    If I ask my spouse or friend a question and they don’t answer then IMO that’s a different scenario, and I have different remedies.

  75. 75
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @NonyNony:

    so maybe he’s just scared to death that he’s going to find himself on the end of some laws that he never in a million years thought would apply to him.

    Bingo.

    His attorney is playing the long game, but the problem here is, the legislative committee can’t make promises for other agencies. It looks very bad right now (counsel for the committee said that the committee had granted immunity, and sees this as backtracking on a deal already agreed to, in private). It’s going to take some time to secure a blanket immunity from every interested party (New York, the Feds, the Port Authority) and that might well be part of the reason for taking the hit today.

    Wildstein’s attorney is being very conservative, in the traditional sense of the word, not in the modern political sense.

  76. 76
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @jehrler:

    Oh, this whole mess put Wildstein in all sorts of legal jeopardy that hasn’t even been imagined yet.

  77. 77
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @EconWatcher:

    It’s somewhat like thinking (as Sarah Palin apparently does) that the First Amendment means you shouldn’t be critcized for expressing noxious opinions. Not at all. You just should incur governmental punishment for it.

    Well, you could see how Troopergate Sarah would come to be confused on that point.

  78. 78
    Corner Stone says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    counsel for the committee said that the committee had granted immunity, and sees this as backtracking on a deal already agreed to, in private

    I didn’t see what was actually said but IMO, the committee granted immunity whether Wildstein wanted it or not, agreed to it or not.

  79. 79
    The Dangerman says:

    @Trollhattan:

    Cause if anybody says that to me….

    Yup; context matters. Plus, if cocksucka has to go, so too do all references too Christie taking it in the ass this morning. Unlubed.

  80. 80
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Yatsuno:

    As George Carlin once said (paraphrasing here), why is “cocksucker” an insult to a bad man when it’s actually something admirable in a woman?

    At Eschaton, the comment was both a hit on Kurtz AND on homophobes, done by some mythical Chinese-stereotype poster, so there’s a third hit right there.

    It was meant as cutting snark.

  81. 81
    chopper says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    which is why i think ultimately a federal investigation makes sense. this involves NJ and the PA, crosses state lines, the whole nine yards.

    plus, this story has blown up enough that a federal investigation doesn’t look like ‘oh, O is trying to fuck over the best gooper candidate in 16’ or something (not that fox and friends won’t catapult that bucket of feces as far as it could go).

  82. 82
    Corner Stone says:

    @jehrler:

    I’m not sure asking someone what the date stamp says on a document they provided qualifies.

    He doesn’t have to answer any of their questions, even if they ask what today’s date is or what color the desk he’s sitting behind is.

  83. 83
    WaterGirl says:

    @beltane: Anybody else think the repeated “I am a very loyal person and I expect loyalty from the people who work for me” was a veiled threat or a reminder to the guy who was supposed to testify today?

  84. 84
    Mandalay says:

    @Corner Stone: I think he was very careful to gratuitously mention that he had yelled at a roomful of people. He was preemepting some pissed off underling going to the press about Christie having a screaming meltdown in front of all his staff.

    I think he was genuinely proud of himself that he hadn’t yelled at anyone for four weeks, just like a drunk is proud of staying dry. So presidential.

  85. 85
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Yatsuno: Homophobia and sexism.

    I remember my wife telling me about a chat she had with some clown from the next holler over who said, “We got a cocksucker for a mayor.” Our mayor at the time was a heterosexual woman (who had just sprogged, no less). I told her should should have just replied with “So do we.”

  86. 86
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Corner Stone:

    The implication was that the committee agreed to immunity before the testimony, but that Wildstein’s attorney decided (based on outside events) that it was not enough when Wildstein was in the hot seat today.

    I got the sense of betrayal of an agreement from counsel to the committee. So they went with contempt.

  87. 87
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @The Dangerman: Oh noes, if we can’t make crude, repetitive rape jokes like a bunch of 19 yr old ravening Otaku hopped up on Ramune, Pocky, and extreme body odor then we’ve lost the culture war something something.

  88. 88
    catclub says:

    @chopper: “the attention of the US attorney as well.”

    I thought he was still asleep in the Four Seasons Hotel, on per diem.

  89. 89
    Corner Stone says:

    @WaterGirl: IMO, no. Wildstein knows exactly who Christie is, obviously. He doesn’t need any threats.

  90. 90
    Botsplainer says:

    @Charlie Dodgson:

    Wildstein’s attorney just said, in nearly so many words, that a guarantee of immunity from the prosecutors is not enough; he suggested that if the Attorneys General of both states (New York, New Jersey) and the U.S. Attorney General committed in advance not to prosecute, then his client would be more willing to answer the committee’s questions. (Hard-hitting questions like “is this an email?”, to which Wildstein repeatedly took the fifth.)

    This guy is nitpicking good practice. He needs one written commitment from New Jersey and one written commitment from the Feds.

    No need to be demanding the personal supervision of either AG.

  91. 91
    chopper says:

    @Corner Stone:

    this is true. that stuff shouldn’t really qualify, since mentioning today’s date in no way could be construed as something that can be used against you. however, as far as i know the only exceptions to the 5th are situational.

  92. 92
    EconWatcher says:

    @Corner Stone:

    With all respect, I think you’re confusing two different things. Sarah Palin has a constitutional right to say anything she wants, and I wouldn’t ever want her to be prosecuted for anything she says, no matter how noxious. But I can think very badly of her for the opinions she chooses to express, without showing any disrespect to the Constitution.

    Similarly, a suspect has a right to remain silent, and in theory his silence cannot be used to help convict him (although unfortunately that principle has been riddled with holes by the Supremes). But that right doesn’t exist because it’s illogical or unreasonable to draw adverse inferences from silence; it exists to avoid incentives for abusive police interrogation.

    It’s often perfectly logical to draw adverse inferences from silence. That’s why those inferences are permitted in civil cases. And I don’t see how there’s any moral issue with doing the same thing in ordinary life.

  93. 93
    chopper says:

    @Botsplainer:

    i’m sure if that sort of deal was being made, the demand would be for the answers to a hell of a lot more questions. i’m imagining any dealing here is going to take a while to work out.

  94. 94
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Corner Stone: I’m going to wait for Burns to vomit something up before I decide.

  95. 95
    Suffern ACE says:

    What I’d like him to do is flip and tell what he knows about the legislators as well. We haven’t been well served by either party out here.

  96. 96
    catclub says:

    @NonyNony: “the U.S. Attorney General committed in advance not to prosecute”

    They need to ask him what they should not be prosecuting, and ask for a full list.

  97. 97
    Mandalay says:

    @RaflW:

    But it’s 2014, can we stop with the notion that cocksucka is an insult?

    I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how few people here have been hurling insults about Christie being fat.

  98. 98
    Corner Stone says:

    @EconWatcher: You’re correct that you can draw or not draw any inference you care to. Just as I have the perspective that I, personally, try my best to not unfairly draw those inferences. That was what I stated – my opinion.
    I don’t believe I was confusing anything.

  99. 99
    chopper says:

    @NonyNony:

    i think it may be less ‘bodies in the closet’ (tho we can only hope) and more ‘not getting fucked over by jurisdiction’. at least that would be my big worry if i were this choad.

  100. 100
    Botsplainer says:

    @Mandalay:

    I think he was genuinely proud of himself that he hadn’t yelled at anyone for four weeks…

    For some people, that is a mighty achievement. He is probably one of them.

    I used to work for one {shudder}.

  101. 101
    WaterGirl says:

    @Yatsuno: I have never used the word fanboi or cocksucker, but I do occasionally use “total fucking prick” when I think it’s deserved. I never even thought about the origin of the phrase until these discussions today.

    I would hate to have to give up total fucking prick. Same thing with calling someone a “dick”. Sigh.

  102. 102
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mandalay:

    Because Christie certainly is no more a credit to the obese than Rush Limbaugh is.

    That picture of him with Obama was just…incredible. Christie was easily more than twice the width of Obama.

  103. 103
    chopper says:

    @Mandalay:

    if you want to imagine how the governor is trying to deal with the stress of this scandal, just look at this picture and imagine a giant chocolate cake between his hands.

  104. 104
    Roger Moore says:

    @NonyNony:

    Holy crap – what kind of bodies does this guy Wildstein have buried in his closet?

    I think he’s implying that he knows about skeletons in other people’s closets, and that the value of this knowledge is enough to justify keeping him out of jail.

  105. 105
    Botsplainer says:

    @catclub:

    They need to ask him what they should not be prosecuting, and ask for a full list.

    That’ll be in the proffer.

  106. 106
    Mandalay says:

    @EconWatcher:

    Sarah Palin has a constitutional right to say anything she wants, and I wouldn’t ever want her to be prosecuted for anything she says…

    That’s plainly untrue. Try posting a death threat here to a specific person and see what happens to your “constitutional right” to say anything you want.

  107. 107
    Corner Stone says:

    @chopper: What are the situations?
    To further my IMO on taking the 5th, if he answers stuff about the date and the desk and what color tie he’s wearing but then stays mum when they ask him about the night of Dec 12th and where he was, it kind of defeats the purpose. Because those nasty inferences previously mentioned will really weigh on a judge or deliberative body.
    Plus, all the tricks people can use when they get you talking.

  108. 108
    The Dangerman says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    Oh noes, if we can’t make crude, repetitive rape jokes…

    Hey, I’d the first in line to eliminate crude, repetitive rape jokes…

    …if there were a move to eliminate crude, repetitive anti-Christian jokes, too. But, this is Balloon-Juice, apparently a free fire zone, and since anti-Christian humor is rampant here, I guess I can feel free to continue using crude, repetitive rape jokes.

  109. 109
    Corner Stone says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: You’ve always been pragmatic like that.

  110. 110
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @WaterGirl: I’ve been trying to give up calling people “stupid” or “fools” but it’s so very, very tempting.

  111. 111
    Corner Stone says:

    @WaterGirl:

    use “total fucking prick” when I think it’s deserved

    It makes me smile a little to know you sometimes think about me.

  112. 112
    GregB says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Christ, you know it aint easy.

  113. 113
    Elizabelle says:

    You know what would have been perfect?

    Teachers questioning Chris Christie at today’s press conference.

    (1) they deal with young people who have not growed up yet, so they’re familiar with this type of behavior, (2) most have an inherent sense of fairness and respect for order, because they have to manage a lot of personalities and get results from same, (3) they have more balls than your average journalist, and all this while being — more often than not — female, (4) unlike our shining media, they have very few illusions about Governor Christie, some through sad personal experience and (5) talk about a roomful of people you would love to gather when Chris Christie is hellbound to keep his temper for 2 hours. A sea of teachers, as far as the eye could see. And they’re not smiling, either.

    The presser was great, but having teachers do it would send it into the stratosphere.

  114. 114
    taylormattd says:

    @Yatsuno: LOL.

    Edit: also, how are you doing today buddy? Recovering miraculously still?

  115. 115
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @WaterGirl:

    I’ve used fanboi often, specifically going after fans who are totally uncritical in their praise of their object of affection, even when they do something incredibly, objectively stupid.

    I didn’t know it had a gay subtext when I used it, because it wasn’t used in a homophobic way. Then again, I don’t think many MMORPG fans know that “twink” has a gay culture subtext, either. The teahadis didn’t seem to know about “tea bagging” as having a sexual subtext, either. Sarah Palin didn’t know about “Going Rogue” as something of that nature, I’m sure…

  116. 116
    Violet says:

    I was struck by how many times Christie repeated that he first heard of the emails at “8:50 a.m. yesterday” or “a few minutes before 9 a.m. yesterday”. He kept repeating it throughout the press conference. It was obviously important to him to get that specific time out there.

    A normal person would not have been as specific. They would have said something like, “I first heard about it yesterday morning.” Christie’s detailed statement about the time, which he repeated over and over, seemed less like his reporting of the events and more like a cover.

    I think he knew well before yesterday morning. That’s why he said “2 nights of poor sleep.” He did have two nights of poor sleep because he knew a couple of days ago. The specific time he kept repeating was something he came up with to add some sort of deniability to his story. He kept repeating it to make it sound real. It had the opposite effect. It’s a tell.

  117. 117
    chopper says:

    @Corner Stone:

    taking an immunity deal for example.

  118. 118
    muricafukyea says:

    @Bob In Portland: Ok fine. I will waste some precious seconds of lifetime to find wr0ng way Coles hilarous love letter.

    So without further adu here it is in all it’s pathetic glory. I think there was a better one but I never came across it and decided 2 minutes was enough time to waste on 2 time Bush voters.
    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2.....-christie/

    For good measure here is a hilarous one from muckymux just to show the level cognitive dissonance around here.
    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2.....-betweens/

  119. 119
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Those jokes are aimed at “Christians” who worship Jeebus, son of Mammon. Who act in ways contrary to the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Who call Pope Francis a “Marxist” for actually applying red letter quotes to the modern world.

    Yup, we’re pissed, alright.

  120. 120
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Violet:

    Yup, it’s a tell.

    He’s pissed that they lied about the emails leaving a trail of breadcrumbs back to him, not at the action they took at the time.

  121. 121
    Corner Stone says:

    @chopper: In a case where immunity is granted, either willingly or unwillingly, then the person can’t plead the 5th and have the protections of that right, but they can still refuse to answer and face other possible penalties.
    Is that accurate, as far as you know?

  122. 122
    WaterGirl says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Yeah, for that situation I usually say “what a maroon!”, which I hope gets my opinion across without making myself look too bad.

    I do occasionally use the “what a maroon” phrase in reference to myself if I’ve done something particularly stupid, so at least I’m an equal opportunity, um, something.

  123. 123
    WaterGirl says:

    @Corner Stone: Okay, that one made me laugh out loud!

    It used to bother me when you and General Stuck would get into it, but no one else seems to bring out that particular quality in you. :-)

  124. 124
    WaterGirl says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Swearing at people gets so complicated. sigh.

  125. 125
    Violet says:

    The daughter of the 91 year old woman who died says the bridge closing wasn’t at fault.

    The daughter of a 91-year-old woman from Fort Lee, N.J., who died on the day of a major traffic jam precipitated by top aides to Gov. Chris Christie said on Thursday that she did not believe the inability of an ambulance to reach her mother’s house was a factor in her death.

    “I honestly believe it was just her time,” said Vilma Oleri, whose mother, Florence Genova, died on the morning of Sept. 9, the first day that the closing of local lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge triggered the snarls. A Fort Lee emergency official has said that the traffic jam prevented an ambulance from Englewood Hospital from reaching Ms. Genova’s home.

    and

    Ms. Oleri said that Fort Lee emergency responders tried to revive her mother at her home, but that her mother showed no signs of life.

  126. 126

    Things I never thought I’d write on my blog:

    “Novelist’s ex-wife pulls gun from her vagina in argument over space aliens.”

    It must be really hard to work at The Onion these days.

  127. 127
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Violet: I think he knew well before yesterday morning.

    I don’t know the local reporter, Shawn Boburg, or the policies of the paper he works for, but I think it’s plausible, even likely, that before running yesterday morning’s story he would have reached out to the Governor’s office to give him/them an opportunity to comment.

  128. 128
    muricafukyea says:

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2.....own-peril/

    “…I really do like Chris Christie”

    Wr0ng Way Cole. Oct30, 2012. Just wrong. Nothing new.

  129. 129
    muricafukyea says:

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2.....-christie/

    Always always just wrong.

  130. 130
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Corner Stone: This might be the time he’s right. I’m an optimist first and foremost.

  131. 131
    Violet says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Isn’t that how it’s usually done? Seems like they would definitely have done that.

    I wonder if the reporter will clarify whether or not they reached out to Christie’s office. Hmmm…

  132. 132
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @muricafukyea:

    First of all, there is NO FUCKING WAY Christie didn’t know about this.

    See, I think there is a way he didn’t know about it, and that’s even more damning. It implies a culture where it’s the expected thing without any need to go to the big boss for sign-off. He’s either actively complicit or presides over a culture of retribution with impunity.

  133. 133
    WaterGirl says:

    @Violet: I had noticed the “two nights” thing too, and I agree with you that it’s significant in some way. I thought it was bullshit the way that so-called reporter handed him his “oops, I misspoke” answer as he asked him the question.

    I’m not quite as sure as you, though, of the reason behind the significance of the specific 8:50 time. It could be what you’re suggesting, but I’m wondering if someone repeatedly told him he had a 24-hour window to respond and that anything else would make him look bad. So maybe it was important to him to show the 8:50 yesterday until I fired the bitch had someone fire the bitch this morning at 9:00 timeline.

  134. 134
    jehrler says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I guess I’m confused as to what the 5th means then. I thought it was a right against self-incrimination, not a right to not answer questions.

    Those are very different things.

  135. 135
    Botsplainer says:

    @Southern Beale:

    “Novelist’s ex-wife pulls gun from her vagina in argument over space aliens.”

    “Throwing a hot dog down a hallway” syndrome, was the first thing that I thought when I saw the story.

  136. 136
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @muricafukyea: I agree John has lousy gut instincts but this time I believe Chris Christie was extorting an endorsement out of John. I hope the investigatory units in New Jersey and the federal level subpoena John to see if there was indeed some foul play going on.

  137. 137
    catclub says:

    I bet Robert Gates and Bob Woodward are even more pissed today than yesterday.

  138. 138
    EconWatcher says:

    @Mandalay:

    Yes, and you can’t falsely shout fire in a crowded theater. But that plainly wasn’t what I was getting at.

  139. 139
    Botsplainer says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    He’s either actively complicit or presides over a culture of retribution with impunity.

    The underlings were simply overenthusiastic in their completion of their duties. Regrettable, yet understandable. In their youth and zeal, they skirted some boundaries, but should be forgiven, unlike those teenage blahs, who are criminals with shifty eyes.

  140. 140
    Violet says:

    @WaterGirl: Yeah, I picked that up too. He made a point of saying “24 hours” a couple of times as for how fast he heard about it and did something. I think that could be part of it, but I don’t think it’s all of it. He was so weirdly fixated on the time he heard of it. It jumped out at me. People just don’t talk that way unless there’s some reason they need to be that specific.

    CNN chyron says Christie on way to Fort Lee to apologize. Who’s he going to apologize to?

  141. 141

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Ollie North was granted immunity by another branch of the Federal government, right? So that immunity would stand up to Fed prosecution. In this case, a state granted immunity could not prohibit Federal prosecution.

    @beltane:
    Well, as someone else said…the guy may be trying to avoid prosecution on an heretofore unknown (at least to him) Federal law. But if that’s not the case, you’re right…he’s falling on the sword for his beloved boss.

    @Corner Stone: If I might weigh in on the convo with EconWatcher….The reason “taking the 5th” is used in Civil v. Criminal cases is the difference between their legal burdens of proof–Preponderance of the Evidence v Reasonable Doubt. And those are both standards based on a whole lot of legal precedence that says they are indeed constitutional.

    On a personal level it is pretty logical to assume that the neighbor who won’t tell you anything about the theft of your vehicle when you know they are a witness is A) an asshole and B) most likely involved in some fashion. But as EconWatcher says, that assessment has nothing to do with the courts.

  142. 142
    WaterGirl says:

    @Gin & Tonic: If that’s true, then Christie shouldn’t have said, very specifically and multiple times, that he first learned of it yesterday morning right after his workout at 8:50. He even said he learned about it from something on his iPad, which is really unbelievable to me.

    Christie surely has people scanning the internet for Christie-related stuff every single morning, ready to alert him to anything he needs to know.

  143. 143
    Spankyslappybottom says:

    @The Dangerman: Yes, because a worldview predicated on an imaginary, omnipotent, omniscient, invisible sky wizard and an actual crime repeated millions of times a year ARE THE EXACT SAME THING.

  144. 144
    Cliff in NH says:

    @muricafukyea:

    You have Obviously never seen or written a love letter.

  145. 145
    Origuy says:

    While we’re on the subject of using slurs, how about not slurring Bridget Kelly by saying she’s sleeping with Christie? Yes, she’s attractive and apparently devoted to her boss, but that doesn’t mean she’s banging him or that her looks are why she was in her position. A woman can be attractive and competent at the same time. She may be a RWNJ with no compassion, but she has a pretty good CV for the job she was in.

  146. 146
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Violet:

    CNN chyron says Christie on way to Fort Lee to apologize. Who’s he going to apologize to?

    The Shoney’s Big Boy, for making him look like a corrupt mafia boss.

  147. 147
    aimai says:

    @EconWatcher: Thats a really weird example of what is wrong with “pleading the fifth” since if your neighbor isn’t involved he wouldn’t be incriminating himself. The reason the state isn’t supposed to use your “pleading the fifth” against you is that we are properly nervous about allowing the state to, essentially, force a person or trick a person into incriminating themselves when the power of asking leading questions is in the hand of the state and the power imbalance is so great. As jurors or viewers we should be sceptical of the claims of the state that a refusal to answer is tantamount to a confession rather than an attempt by the defendant to avoid various traps set for them by the prosecutor. However, that being said, refusing to answer obvious, factual questions “is this your email sent from your computer” really has to reflect an attempt to delay prosecution for a criminal act. Because “these are my emails and I sent them” is a purely factual question. Refusing to answer is simply refusing to accept responsibility for the act. The authorship of the emails can be proved other ways and the liability for the act proved other ways.

  148. 148
    Corner Stone says:

    @jehrler: I’m not a ConLaw Professor but I don’t think there’s any limitation on what an individual might consider self-harming.
    My understanding is to not answer any thing, at all.

  149. 149
    catclub says:

    @Mandalay: I think Glenn Beck may be nearing a reappraisal.

    First he said something understanding about Melissa Harris-Perry. Then he referred to this as the
    Fat and the Furious scandal.

    Who knows?

  150. 150
    Seanly says:

    @RaflW:

    I was thinking that Christie seemed to be very Nixonian. And that’s not meant as a compliment.

    Way OT: TimF – I just sent you an email re: the Olympus E-PM2, a successor to the E-P1 you used to have. Basic line, I’m looking to move beyond point-n-shoot, but don’t have budget or temperament for a DSLR (mostly budget).

  151. 151
    Cliff in NH says:

    @Spankyslappybottom:

    Exactly.

  152. 152
    beltane says:

    @Violet: Why would he apologize for something he was nether responsible for nor aware of?

  153. 153
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @Elizabelle:
    Are you still in this thread?

  154. 154
    Cassidy says:

    @muricafukyea: And just a few posts ago, Cole was wondering how anyone got the impression he was a fanb01. Heh.

  155. 155
    Corner Stone says:

    @Ms. D. Ranged in AZ:

    won’t tell you anything about the theft of your vehicle when you know they are a witness is A) an asshole and B) most likely involved in some fashion.

    Or C) know exactly who did it and are more scared of them than they are of you. Or D) some other damned reason linked to the vagaries of being a human being.

    I agree with what EconWatcher said in that their silence should not be held against them in a criminal court.
    My only distinction, which I thought I was clear about, is that I do not hold it against someone, instinctually, when they do not answer in a matter of jurisprudence. Or, I try hard to not do that by default. My opinion is that is is pervasively harmful to view people that way, and I think it is an awful perspective.

  156. 156
    Violet says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I’m not a ConLaw Professor

    Was just skimming the comments and somehow my brain turned this into “I am not a Cole Law Professor.” Would that have something to do with Subarus, pets, mustard and injuries?

  157. 157
    jehrler says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I’m with you on how it may be best not to answer during an interrogation or trial, but I thought once one was subpoenaed one had to answer questions absent an assertion of the 5th that was not unreasonable.

    I’m no con-law lawyer either, but this kind of makes subpoenas and contempt citations pretty useless if a witness can always just clam up and plead the 5th, even when they were not a participant in the wrong doing. I’m thinking of witnesses to crimes by others, for example, where one does not want to get involved.

  158. 158
    Yatsuno says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Hey Durfs gotta Durf after all.

  159. 159

    @Southern Beale: As I said on your site, “Ewwww Factor” = 11

  160. 160
    Botsplainer says:

    OT, but sportswriters founded the original village before the village even knew it existed.

    http://deadspin.com/dan-le-bat.....1498090172

    The Baseball Writers’ Association of America announced today that Dan Le Batard, who turned his Hall of Fame ballot over to you, the people, has been banned for life from voting for the HOF and suspended from the BBWAA for one year.

    Sniveling bunch of whiny fucks. Deadspin bought (for nothing) and let fans decide how to cast Le Batard’s HOF vote, as part of a demonstration as to why the system is a fucking joke.

    This is the payback that baseball punditry levied.

  161. 161
    Corner Stone says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    I agree John has lousy gut instincts

    Jeebus. A Thought Leader, a pragmatist, an optimist and a master of sublime understatement.
    What can’t you do, Just Some Fuckhead, what can’t you do?

  162. 162
    Corner Stone says:

    @jehrler: Ok, thanks. I make no apologies for being a Bill of Rights Fanboi, so I’m going to stick with my opinion that the absolute right to not answer any question in a legal matter (criminal) should not be weighed against you. And yes, other penalties or outcomes exist to compel your testimony. But IMO, I’m going to stick with the 5th amendment.

  163. 163
    Cacti says:

    @Cassidy:

    And just a few posts ago, Cole was wondering how anyone got the impression he was a fanb01. Heh.

    Cole thought he’d found the straight talkin’ Republican daddy figure that he’d been missing since Dubya.

    Guess it’s back to fluffing Rand Paul.

  164. 164
    Corner Stone says:

    @aimai:

    However, that being said, refusing to answer obvious, factual questions “is this your email sent from your computer” really has to reflect an attempt to delay prosecution for a criminal act. Because “these are my emails and I sent them” is a purely factual question. Refusing to answer is simply refusing to accept responsibility for the act. The authorship of the emails can be proved other ways and the liability for the act proved other ways.

    I was with you until this part. You’ve pretty much just undermined the 5th amendment with this attitude. Thanks.

  165. 165

    OT but lulz.

    Dylan Byers is demanding that TNC make a correction:

    Dylan Byers ‏@DylanByers 16m

    I’ve emailed Ta-Nehisi Coates twice and had his colleagues email him and he still hasn’t corrected his mischaracterization of what I wrote.

  166. 166
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Corner Stone:

    What can’t you do, Just Some Fuckhead, what can’t you do?

    In the interest of fairness, I was going to make a short list of some of things I can’t do but while I was preparing this list mentally, I toyed with a sweet tart wrapper and almost miraculously made a purple and silver ring out of it that fits PERFECTLY on my little finger!

    So I’m just going to enjoy this high a little longer.

  167. 167
    Cacti says:

    @Botsplainer:

    The BBWAA are a petulant pack of Heathers.

    This is the group that didn’t give Albert Belle the 1995 AL MVP because they disliked him personally. No other reason.

  168. 168
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Corner Stone: A criminal defendant has a right to say nothing at all and not have negative inferences be drawn from it. A civil defendant can assert the Fifth Amendment, but inferences can be drawn by the jury. The logic is that the Fifth Am. is there to avoid self-incrimination, not to allow someone to avoid any and all consequences. The fact that negative inferences are permitted from a failure to answer in civil court is a big reason why “I don’t recall” is a popular answer.

  169. 169
    RSA says:

    @Seanly:

    I was thinking that Christie seemed to be very Nixonian. And that’s not meant as a compliment.

    Christie is twice the man Nixon was.

  170. 170
    muricafukyea says:

    “for better or for worse, this staff will reflect my personal style of leadership and decision-making,”

    –2009 Christie

    https://twitter.com/American_Bridge/status/421318617079115776/photo/1

  171. 171
    Elizabelle says:

    @Jebediah, RBG:

    Hello there.

  172. 172
    Trollhattan says:

    @Seanly:

    Hey, thread’s off the rails anyway. What do you want to know? (Have an E-M5 and a few lenses.)

  173. 173
    Mandalay says:

    @EconWatcher:

    But that plainly wasn’t what I was getting at.

    Well it was plainly what you said: “I wouldn’t ever want her to be prosecuted for anything she says…”.
    There are times when people can and should be prosecuted for what they say.

  174. 174
    mai naem says:

    @Origuy: Google has a cache of Bridget Kelly’s twitter account. She has a tweet from last year about how Enya was the only thing that kept her sane during a fcuked up two hour commute. Don’t remember exactly when last year, but I have to wonder if it’s around the time of Fort Lee.

  175. 175
    Belafon says:

    @The Dangerman: I’ve seen you harp on this before. Please show me where we bash Christianity at the expense of all other non-spaghetti based religions.

    And I’m sorry, as respectful as I am – I dare you to find a single time where I have bashed on any religion – religion is a choice, and really can be criticized as much as someone who likes country.

  176. 176
    scav says:

    @Violet: Sherlock’s mini-episode has him saying “Only lies have details.”

  177. 177
  178. 178
    mai naem says:

    Twitter’s been full of win today on the Christie thing.

    Wildstein took the fifth on what his job was before the Christie job. Seriously? Why? I can even understand him taking the fifth for whether something was an email or a text but what your job was before this job? Stoopid.

  179. 179

    @Corner Stone: Yes, you are right, I forgot about fear and that would be the number one reason most witnesses/victims of crimes do not share what they saw with authorities. But that fear could be (and was often present back in the day when I had about 150 felons on my caseload) whether they were involved or not.

  180. 180
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I think Bill Clinton would disagree with that statement.

  181. 181
    catclub says:

    @Violet: Cole’s Law – Finely Chopped Cabbage

  182. 182
    bemused says:

    @catclub:

    Fat and furious scandal is hilarious. This is the first (and probably the last) thing Beck has said that I enjoyed.

  183. 183
    raven says:

    Mr. Favia wrote in his letter that after an ambulance with paramedics from Englewood Hospital could not get to Ms. Genova’s house, it met the Fort Lee ambulance on a street. The hospital paramedics tried again, but failed, to revive Ms. Genova. She was pronounced dead at the hospital.

    “We believe she died in her home, but they couldn’t pronounce her until she got to the hospital,” said Ms. Oleri’s husband, Frank Oleri. “The traffic didn’t make any difference.”

    Ms. Oleri said she had no idea until Wednesday that her mother’s death had become a source of controversy.

    “We want to stay out of it,” Ms. Oleri said. “It’s not political.”

  184. 184
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Corner Stone: Let’s go to the actual text.

    “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

    I don’t get the source of your blanket “I don’t have to open my mouth about anything.”

  185. 185
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @mai naem: He’s saying Fifth to everything because he cleverly thinks it will obfuscate the specific questions he is trying to duck.

  186. 186
    Yatsuno says:

    @Trollhattan: Pretty much a BJ thread overall. Might as well revel in the insanity. Or in Durf’s case, inanity.

    For those who are curious: I made it to the ranch Tuesday. Yesterday was a bad walking day so I’m aiming for today to be better. And hey I can shower with almost no help, but the rebath needs a non-slip mat. My arm strength kept that from being a total disaster. And the border collies have licked my face off. So overall I’m happy to be out. Now to Best Buy for a new keyboard and phone charger. Fun stuff!

  187. 187
  188. 188
    mapaghimagsik says:

    @catclub:
    Really? A comment here and there and we’re ready to swoon? I’m more inclined to think that he’s just trying to find a whole new set of rubes.

  189. 189
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Gin & Tonic: There are a couple of hundred years of case law interpreting each word an punctuation mark in the Amendment and that case law really does end up saying that it is cool to say nothing to law enforcement or in court. If you are a suspect/defendant. Or if saying something will make you a suspect/defendant. If you are a called as a witness, you can be compelled to testify. You can take the Fifth on individual questions or sets of questions for your own protection.

  190. 190
    jl says:

    @bemused: Beck is a showperson, he is in show business and he knows it. He’s already made one transformation when he left CNN (I think that was that the place) to Fox. He can make another transformation if he needs a new act to keep attention and money rolling his way.

    As for Mr. Fat and Furious, from the press conference today, he goes all in when he decides what to do, have to give him that. If no information comes out that he had any knowledge or involvement, I think this will be a very damaging episode that he can survive, at least in the primaries. Attack ads on it will have to be careful lest they be labeled cheap shots. People will say that Christie made his mea culpa, he named names and he fired people.

    If any info does come out to the contrary, Christie is totally done for.

    That my IMHO on it.

  191. 191
    Mandalay says:

    @Corner Stone:

    My understanding is to not answer any thing, at all.

    Probably good advice here, but the standard police caution was amended in Britain in 1994…

    You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.

    Remaining silent cannot be the sole ground for prosecution, but it can definitely be held against you in Britain.

    I’m sure our betters would love to have the same thing here.

  192. 192
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mandalay: We aren’t in Britain. We are in the US where there is a Fifth Amendment and years of jurisprudence defining what it does and does not mean.

  193. 193
    EriktheRed says:
    Federal prosecutors in New Jersey will begin a preliminary inquiry into the lane closures in Fort Lee, according to a law enforcement source.

    A source with knowledge of the plans said that the United States attorney for New Jersey, Paul J. Fishman, would announce the investigation on Thursday morning.

    You know how this will be spun on the right, don’t you? Eric Holder’s Justice Department is now investigating Christie after refusing to investigate blah blah blah blah blah. Now the right has a liberal enemy in this matter. Game on.

    http://nomoremister.blogspot.c.....-with.html

  194. 194
    scav says:

    Practically speaking, the combination of “I am not a Bully!” in close proximity to a steadfast stonewalling before committees just prolongs the fun and brings up easy memories for many of either a certain generation or persuasion. Wagon circling and announcements of how it looks in the rearview mirror (e.g. “All done! Nothing to see here! Move along, Move along!”) will do what they can, but I rather think it’s good legs for stumbling onward, especially as there’s an easy role model for aspiring journalists to pin in their work lockers and dream over.

  195. 195
    Mandalay says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Glad to see you have recovered from your tantrum. Welcome back.

  196. 196
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @Elizabelle:
    Hi –
    A little while ago you had kindly asked for a Chucky update. (Here I had linked to some recent pix.)

    She has now had four visits to her oncologist, who has given her approx. a 50% chance. Chucky is for the most part appears to be doing fine – happy, sociable, etc. although she still has staples in her from her last visit, which is why I think she went on strike and refuses to go for early-morning walks – our guess is the cold air makes the staples uncomfortable. And she isn’t traumatized by the treatments, apparently, since each time we go there she tries to drag me in the front door…
    She gets a whole raft of medications twice a day, and so far she hasn’t been difficult about taking them. The only real issue is the cost of all of it – one of her medications is $155 for thirty pills (she gets two of those a day.) Over the holidays, I paid over $1800 to the vet… at this point, I can pick up her refills, and then I am out of money, and unless my wife’s new business starts generating some actual income very soon, I am not sure how I will pay for future treatment. I should be able to afford the medicine, but we might have to hold off on more cryo treatments (the vet has been mostly freezing the growths off of her).
    Because this particular cancer is so nasty if it migrates to the organs, we watch her pretty carefully for signs of internal discomfort, etc. but so far, so good – happy, active, excited for exercise and socializing with other people and dogs.
    And she has been chuckling quite a bit over Chris Christies situation.

  197. 197
    MattR says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I make no apologies for being a Bill of Rights Fanboi, so I’m going to stick with my opinion that the absolute right to not answer any question in a legal matter (criminal) should not be weighed against you.

    It should not be weighed against you in a criminal matter. But why should it not be weighed against you by private individuals? (Just like private individuals are not prohibited by the First Amendment from reacting to what an individual says) Should a potential employer ignore that candidate X refused to answer questions about the theft that occurred at his previous job? Should his previous employer have been forced to keep him on the job after he took the Fifth in the criminal investiagation into the theft?

  198. 198
    Percysowner says:

    @Roger Moore: On the other hand this law professor gives a great presentation about why you NEVER talk to the police without a lawyer even if you are as pure as the driven snow

  199. 199
    kc says:

    @muricafukyea:

    Oh, shut up. Jesus Christ.

  200. 200
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Percysowner: Even though that guy is a professor at Regent, I endorse pretty much everything he says in that video. I also suggest that no one ever agree to a search.

  201. 201
    Trollhattan says:

    @raven:

    Here’s Dave, in ’61.

  202. 202
    raven says:

    @Jebediah, RBG: Aw poor pup. Is she a German Shorthair?

  203. 203
    Trollhattan says:

    @Trollhattan:

    Crap, didn’t put the linkie

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVGotpIxkGU

  204. 204
    Suffern ACE says:

    @scav: Honestly, I hope he breaks and airs all of the dirty laundry about the dems who flipped to support him. “Sure I did that, but my worst employee is so and so’s brother in law who has his cushy job in my office so that he’d get my endorsement.”

    Of “I cant’ believe Assemblyman Jerk is questioning me when I hired his contractor uncle at 100% over cost to build that private prison we’re both investing in.”

  205. 205
    kc says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Really, the last thing liberals need to do is start walking back the Fifth Amendment. Sheesh.

  206. 206
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @kc: Who is walking it back?

  207. 207
    Seanly says:

    @Trollhattan:

    Long story short – I have a decent point-n-shoot but would like to step up my photography. Budget is a concern & I don’t care for bulkiness of DSLR. Amazon has the Olympus E-PM2 with 2 lenses for a decent price. I’d like to go back to doing more than just taking snapshots of my dog. Durability is a concern as I use my camera on bridge inspections & site visits (though I can keep my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH20 for that). I had remembered that TimF liked his Olympus E-P1 & wanted to know if he still liked the mirrorless format.

    Thanks for any insights. RE: my level of photo skills, a late uncle was a professional photographer & he gave me an old Pentax K1000 years ago (early 90’s) to cut my teeth on. Said I should learn how to focus, frame, etc. by hand.

  208. 208
    raven says:

    @Jebediah, RBG: Love that Norton 750!

  209. 209
    kc says:

    @Mandalay:

    Omnes, a “tantrum?” I thought he was the sanest dude here.

    I miss all the good stuff. :)

  210. 210
    Trollhattan says:

    @Percysowner:

    For sure. Likewise, never say “Of course you can look in the trunk.” Unless perhaps you just drove your new car off the dealer lot.

  211. 211
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Out here, you aren’t given a lot of choices. If they find 2 violations, they will search your vehicle or give you the option of having that vehicle impounded.

  212. 212
    raven says:

    @Trollhattan: I was wonderin

  213. 213
    kc says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Not you, some of the other commenters (it appears). I agree with you.

  214. 214
    kc says:

    @Trollhattan:

    I suspect most people don’t know they can refuse a search, or are too intimidated to do so, or the cops word it in such a way as to make them think they don’t have a choice.

  215. 215
    Chris T. says:

    @Violet: No, Cole’s Law is thinly sliced cabbage, usually with a mayo or buttermilk dressing. :-)

  216. 216
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @raven:

    Not sure – the weekend we took her home, some dude from Tennessee walked up and asked if she was a Catahoula Leopard Dog. I looked up some pictures, and she seems to be a pretty close match, but I don’t know for sure.

  217. 217
    Elizabelle says:

    @Jebediah, RBG:

    Hugs to you and Chucky and Mrs. Jebediah. What a wonderful dog.

    I hope she will be a survivor pup. She sounds valiant, and like she’s got good quality of life and (strangely) enjoys the medical attention. So glad you’re in a warmer clime; that has to be good for her on her walks.

    Best to you and sorry to hear of those vet bills. She’s worth every penny, but they sound severe. You must keep us posted.

    Is the littler dog handling her share of nursing?

  218. 218
    gelfling545 says:

    @catclub: I did wonder if he was finding his current career path less ….rewarding than formerly and might be considering modifying some of his positions but more evidence would be needed and he’ll probably always be a jackass no matter what.

  219. 219
    scav says:

    @Suffern ACE: Break, eventually, sure, necessarily, but all the swings at the piñata sure keep the party going. Much more fun than just wandering over to the bowl on the counter and grabbing a jolly rancher.

  220. 220
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @raven:
    Yeah – kind of wish it was mine!

  221. 221
    bemused says:

    @jl:

    Beck did call himself a radio clown in an interview years ago.

    The fat and furious scandal isn’t going away and it’s going to be interesting to see what else turns up.

  222. 222
    cckids says:

    @srv:

    No, the betrayal involves the disclosure of private conversations that Obama had every reason to believe would remain confidential. How can a president conduct candid conversations with his inner circle if he fears he’s providing fodder for a future best-seller?

    I think Obama knows better than to believe that no one would ever betray those confidences; to me, this is the funniest part from Gates: “‘I was put off by the way the president closed the meeting. To his very closest advisers, he said, “For the record, and for those of you writing your memoirs, I am not making any decisions about Israel or Iran. Joe you be my witness.” I was offended by his suspicion that any of us would ever write about such sensitive matters.’

    Yes, Sec. Gates, how ill-mannered of Pres. Obama to THINK that you might write a memoir detailing private conversations? For shame.

  223. 223
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @kc: Okay, I wasn’t sure from your comment.

    @kc: I teach occasional criminal justices classes to undergrads, and one of the the things I tell each class is that if they retain nothing else from the class that hey should never, under any circumstances, agree to a search. If the cops have a warrant, they will conduct their search; if the cops have exigent circumstances, they will conduct their search. Not consenting leaves their lawyer something with which to work.

  224. 224
    Tone In DC says:

    @Southern Beale:

    I just read that. Ms. Carthy must be REALLY into winning arguments about ET.
    What, did they run out of shoulder holsters at Wal-Mart?

  225. 225
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Suffern ACE: I stand by my advice. I have heard of too many people getting jammed up by consenting. If you don’t consent, it doesn’t necessarily stop the search but it preserves your ability to challenge the legality of the search.

  226. 226
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Is the littler dog handling her share of nursing?

    Juno is pretty awesome about that, for dogs and people. When her much-missed big brother Otto (100 lb Am Staff) went temporarily deaf, she was very serious about being on-duty as his hearing-ear dog.

  227. 227
    les says:

    @The Dangerman:

    if there were a move to eliminate crude, repetitive anti-Christian jokes, too. But, this is Balloon-Juice, apparently a free fire zone, and since anti-Christian humor is rampant here, I guess I can feel free to continue using crude, repetitive rape jokes.

    That’s mighty christian of ya.

  228. 228
    Trollhattan says:

    @Seanly:

    Have a hazy recollection of Tim migrating to a Panny GH body, but remaining in µ4/3. The system continues growing by leaps and bounds, so there a re a ton of options. I plan on migrating out of DSLRs after my year and a half with the E-M5. I’ll speculate Tim will second the notion of going mirrorless. In general, Panny does video better and Oly does still photography better.

    That E-PM2 kit is a good deal–lots of capability for the money. It’s a relatively new camera with up-to-date sensor and engine, which is good. It lacks a mode dial, but that’s not a deal-killer for most. Like all the Pens it also lacks a built-in EVF but will accept an add-on EVF. I prefer an EVF to the back panel for use in sunlight (why I opted for the E-M5) and with this canera would plan on adding one, eventually. They’re occasionally on sale.

    It will be a big step forward from your Lumix.

  229. 229
    Elizabelle says:

    @Jebediah, RBG:

    That’s Officer Juno to you.

    She is a pup with some ‘tude.

    And she looks resolute at helping. Dogs live to serve, even little ones in coats and pink collars.

    Great pups. I remember your pictures of Otto. Hope you have Chucky and Juno for ages and ages.

  230. 230
    aimai says:

    @Corner Stone: I haven’t”undermined the 5th amendment” because the 5th amendment doesn’t rest on the opinions of random internet people watching a piece of testimony on tv.

  231. 231
    Corner Stone says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I see Omnes has already weighed in on this, but I appreciate you providing the text:

    nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself

    And that means that neither you, nor any other commenter here, can determine for me what constitutes harm to myself in a criminal matter.
    And until SCOTUS rolls that back, that’s the bottom line for my assertion that I believe saying nothing to any question is permissible.

  232. 232
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @Elizabelle:

    She’s worth every penny,

    She is, for sure. Before we adopted her, I was going over to take her for walks, and I fell in love at first sight. (And I’m pretty sure she loves me, too.)

    I sure hope future updates are all good news, of course, but if she turns out to be a short-timer, it will at least be as good a time as we can give her.

  233. 233
    Corner Stone says:

    @aimai: No, you’re not on SCOTUS, thank the good Lord. I’m not either, and am also just putting my opinion out there.
    But that whole, “Well the 5th is good but why can’t you just answer this tiny little question here? It’s just a factual question, after all.”
    That’s pretty much against the entire 5th amendment part of not being a witness against yourself.

  234. 234
    Corner Stone says:

    @MattR: It’s why I put this in there – (criminal).
    Because, surprisingly, I do understand the difference between civil and criminal.

  235. 235
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Thank you – and for the opportunity to talk about it a little with sympathetic folks. It’s been a bit of stress, lately!

    And, yes, Juno is quite resolute. Especially in service to Otto, since he’s the one that brought her out of her (skittish, scared-of-her-own-shadow) shell shortly after we adopted her.

  236. 236
    Corner Stone says:

    @MattR:

    Should a potential employer ignore that candidate X refused to answer questions about the theft that occurred at his previous job? Should his previous employer have been forced to keep him on the job after he took the Fifth in the criminal investiagation into the theft?

    Holy shit. We just made the leap into crazy town.
    Thanks.

  237. 237
    Corner Stone says:

    @Trollhattan:

    Unless perhaps you just drove your new car off the dealer lot.

    Nope, not even then. IMO, I don’t care of the Virgin Mary just put out a brand new Prius. I’m not consenting to shit. Ever.

  238. 238
    Elizabelle says:

    @Jebediah, RBG:

    Sometimes that is all you can do, but hoping and hoping she’s the pup who beats this. (And before your wallet takes too much more of a licking. Multiple dogs are fab, until the vet bills roll in.)

    You are a lucky dog to live in California. Love it out there. I am in Virginia, dogless for the time being, alas. (I walk a neighbor’s pup. Win win for both of us.)

  239. 239
    Corner Stone says:

    @Violet:

    “I am not a Cole Law Professor.” Would that have something to do with Subarus, pets, mustard and injuries?

    Well, as I am not one, I can’t really speak to that at this time. In other words, on the advice of counsel, I am invoking my 5th amendment rights.

  240. 240
    Tim F. says:

    @Seanly: I do not see your email in my Yahoo account. The EPM2 is perfect for your needs. Buy one very good prime to go with it: choose the Panasonic 20mm 1.8 or the Olympus 45mm 1.8 depending on whether you like to shoot wide or longer. If you want to spend a little less buy one of the Sigma primes for micro 4/3. If you want to spend almost nothing buy an old manual 50mm/1.8 lens. Those came with every SLR in the old days and you can have one for $10-20, plus an ebay adapter for another $15-25. They almost all have fantastic optics but you need to set the focus and aperture yourself.

    Everyone who wants to take better pics should have at least one good prime.

  241. 241
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Nope, not even then. IMO, I don’t care of the Virgin Mary just put out a brand new Prius. I’m not consenting to shit. Ever.

    Good choice. 1) It protects you – just in case. 2) If the cops have probable cause for the search, they should be able to get a warrant, right? If they can’t get a warrant, then they have no reason to be searching.

  242. 242
    Tim F. says:

    @Trollhattan: Personally, I can give or take a viewfinder. After video it is literally the last reason I bought a GH2. I just wanted those lovely, lovely manual control dials. Plus the very nice multi-aspect sensor. The OMD let a lot of air out of my balloon since it has everything I want plus sensor stabilization and a good wireless flash protocol, but I buy a body to use it for a while so I have not jumped back to oly yet.

  243. 243
    Shortstop says:

    @Yatsuno:

    I dunno, so little bugs me anymore these days anyway.

    As a fully credentialed hothead, I’ve admired your LALL attitude here — and the fact that you accompany it with wit and an utter lack of sanctimoniousness — more times than I can count.

  244. 244
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Botsplainer:

    Dan Le Batard

    I did a double-take when I saw that name. And then, after checking with Google Translate, I did another double-take. The guy’s name is Dan The Bastard? For realz?

  245. 245
    kc says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    2) If the cops have probable cause for the search, they should be able to get a warrant, right? If they can’t get a warrant, then they have no reason to be searching.

    “Why would you refuse a search, unless you have something to hide?”

    [/cop]

  246. 246
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @Elizabelle:
    I like it here a lot – esp. lovely little Culver City. And if I were dogless, I think I too would be scratching that itch by walking others’ dogs. Win-win for sure!

  247. 247
    elm says:

    @Trollhattan: Some people enjoy sucking cocks. There’s no need to insult those noble souls by comparing them to Howie Kurtz.

  248. 248
    Seanly says:

    Thanks Tim & Trollhattan.

    I used a completely manual Pentax K1000 for about 12 years before going digital (with a stop in that weird Advantix format). Therefore, think I’ll avoid getting a completely manual lens!

  249. 249
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @kc: “Why not?” or “Just because” being the answers that come to mind. For practical reasons, I would never advise anyone to actually say that to the cop. Just a polite “Do you have a warrant?” and then an equally polite “I am not consenting to a search.”

  250. 250
    Corner Stone says:

    @kc:

    “Why would you refuse a search, unless you have something to hide?”

    [/cop]

    I think you mean:
    /BJ commenter

  251. 251
    Trollhattan says:

    @Tim F.:

    I’m letting the early adapters wring out the E-M1 before I decide whether to take the plunge. Have several 4/3 system lenses that, charitably, take a luxurious amount of time to focus on the E-M5 but have no equal in the micro world. If the E-M1 restores E-series speed with them, then I can transition out of DLSRs entirely. At least on paper, it’s the first µ4/3 camera with a pro pedigree (including 1/8000 for shooting those f:1.4 legacy primes).

  252. 252
    MattR says:

    @Corner Stone: Let me go back and review the record.

    Econ Watcher: Without good explanation, in everyday life people treat it as an indication of guilt, and that’s usually fair and reasonable.

    Corner Stone: That is an absolutely awful perspective.

  253. 253
    Corner Stone says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Well, to be fair, my middle class white privilege gives me at least a 50/50 or better chance of not having my teeth knocked in when I refuse. So there’s that to consider.
    But some of my best friends are…LEO. And the things they tell me. Jeebus cracker.
    Actually, it’s the way they recount events when they tell me.
    “Yes, your honor. I recovered the bag in plain sight with the zipper open. There was a bulge there that I believed was a firearm.”

  254. 254
    Corner Stone says:

    @MattR: You went from a court of criminal law to an employer asking about a theft at a previous job.
    Don’t try and bullshit me.

  255. 255
    Trollhattan says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    He might also be Dan the Loaf of Bread.

  256. 256
    Corner Stone says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: “Am I free to go?”

  257. 257
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Trollhattan:

    When I was visiting my mom, we were watching “Border Patrol” and some poor bastard had bought a pickup truck at a police auction, and the police had never bothered to x-ray it before they sold it to the public.

    He was able to document what had happened and he wasn’t charged with anything, but it really, really sucked for him to be stuck at the border for hours while he tried to prove he really didn’t have any idea how those drugs got into his truck.

  258. 258
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Well, to be fair, my middle class white privilege gives me at least a 50/50 or better chance of not having my teeth knocked in when I refuse. So there’s that to consider.

    There’s that, of course. Most interactions with the police work best if you look like you might be, or be related to, someone important. They will be more careful just in case. The US being what it is looking like you might be, or be related to, someone important usually means being white and middle-class to upper-middle-class in affect. Larry the Cable Guy ain’t going to cut it either.

    @Corner Stone: That too.

  259. 259
    MattR says:

    @Corner Stone: You had previously said that it was an “awful persepctive” to think that it was reasonable for individuals to draw their own conclusions about guilt from silence. Are you walking that back?

  260. 260
    kc says:

    @Trollhattan:

    Wouldn’t that be Dan le Baguette?

  261. 261
    Keith G says:

    @Corner Stone: “Am I free to go?” is a very important question to ask if a LEO seems to be on a fishing expedition. If the officer has no reason to be holding/seizing you, than he or she certainly has no good reason to be poking around your property or person.

  262. 262
    Amir Khalid says:

    @kc:
    You mean, Dan La Baguette. (Feminine noun.)

  263. 263
    Corner Stone says:

    @MattR: Not in the slightest. I’m pretty sure my opinion is clear.
    In a criminal action no one should have their right to invoke the 5th amendment held against them. I, personally, try my best to not do that by default. I believe the offered statement that when accused of a crime, a person who takes the 5th has a burden to get out from under, is absolutely awful and I oppose that mentality.

    But as I also clearly have stated in this thread, if my spouse or friend did not answer a question then I would be free to draw my own conclusions and have different remedies.

    To be clear, and repetitive because it seems some are incapable of reading. I offered my opinion that when a person accused of a crime invokes the 5th, I try to not pre-guilt them and I would like others to try to not do that as well.
    Civil, and/or personal matters don’t hold the same standard.

  264. 264
    kc says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Je suis bête!

  265. 265
    Cliff in NH says:

    @Corner Stone:

    “Am I free to go?”

    don’t think so when you are subpoenaed with immunity.

  266. 266
    Cliff in NH says:

    @Corner Stone:
    but the guy has immunity so that’s irrelevant.

  267. 267
    MattR says:

    @Corner Stone:

    To be clear, and repetitive because it seems some are incapable of reading. I offered my opinion that when a person accused of a crime invokes the 5th, I try to not pre-guilt them and I would like others to try to not do that as well.
    Civil, and/or personal matters don’t hold the same standard.

    I really don’t understand the distinction you are trying to make with “personal matters” which is why I brought up my employer example. Should an employer be able to fire an employee who takes the 5th in response to questions about a theft at the company? Would it be reasonable for a future employer to look negatively on that silence when considering whether to hire the employee? If so, how is that not pre-guilting them based on their invocation of the 5th in a criminal matter?

  268. 268
    Cliff in NH says:

    nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself

    Where is the criminal case that he has not been immunized for???

  269. 269
    kc says:

    @Cliff in NH:

    The feds just began an investigation, I believe. He doesn’t have immunity from them.

  270. 270
    Cliff in NH says:

    @kc:

    Do you have any documentation that a offer of immunity doesn’t apply?

    I want more info here any links would be very helpful, Thanks!

  271. 271
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cliff in NH: He still doesn’t have to answer any question. He just faces different penalties/punishment.
    I don’t think you’re really tracking very well.

  272. 272
    Corner Stone says:

    @MattR: The distinction is everything. I’m not sure what wall you’re beating your head against to not get this?
    In a criminal court/matter, the 5th amendment provides protection against self-incrimination.
    An employer/potential employer is bound by a completely different set of laws, based on jurisdictions.

  273. 273
    kc says:

    @Cliff in NH:

    You want documentation that a state legislative committee cannot offer immunity from federal prosecution??

  274. 274
    Shortstop says:

    I remember a very bright and funny attorney who sometimes comments here saying on another blog, “Never let the FBI into your house or agree to be interviewed by them without your attorney present.” (The context: one or two commenters had been questioned about their anti-Iraq War protesting activities; this was early in the Bush administration.)

    That’s good advice. So is telling someone not to talk to the cops without a lawyer present. Unfortunately, both are advice for the privileged. People completely without funds do not hire lawyers for the purpose of talking to the cops or federal law enforcement — and public defenders are for people who’ve actually been charged with crimes. Nor do those of us in relatively good financial shape and full knowledge of our rights keep lawyers on hand for such purposes. For instance, I’ve only hired attorneys for real estate sales/purchases and for transactional law relating to my business. I could find an appropriate lawyer in the case of being questioned by law enforcement because I happen to have many (across the spectrum of practice) attorneys as clients, but I doubt most people would find it easy to locate a criminal lawyer on the spur of the moment.

    So it falls on most people to handle their own affairs in these situations. The rights to decline to answer questions or to consent to a search are what we arm ourselves with. Until they’re charged, most people will not have the luxury of counsel.

  275. 275
    MattR says:

    @Corner Stone: Yes. Exactly. Much like the 1st Amendment, the 5th Amendment protects you from the government and not from private individuals or companies (which form the court of public opinion). So why do you think it is “an absolutely awful perspective” that “in everyday life people treat it as an indication of guilt, and that’s usually fair and reasonable.” (as the employer would be doing in my hypothetical)

  276. 276
    Cliff in NH says:

    @Corner Stone:
    @kc:

    I need more info, I think It’s clear I’m not getting all that’s going on, that’s why people ask for links.

  277. 277
    Corner Stone says:

    @MattR: What the fuck are you even asking me anymore?
    Can you not read? What the fuck is your problem?

  278. 278
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cliff in NH: The conversation moved on from a discussion of Wildstein’s specific situation to a broader discussion of the right against self-incrimination in general.

  279. 279
    Cliff in NH says:

    @MattR: What corner stone is saying is that criminal cases do not equal civil cases and they are different sets of laws. (I Think)

  280. 280
    Cliff in NH says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    But the general is , um generally specific.

    and this is a case of specific, and I seem to be missing some info somewhere…

  281. 281
    danielx says:

    @Cacti:

    If there’s a post or comment from anyone on this blog ‘fluffing Rand Paul’, I’d like to know who and when. Also, too, thanks for an image I could happily have spent the rest of my life without.

  282. 282
    dmbeaster says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Ollie North’s convictions for his crimes were overturned based on a grant of immunity by a congressional committee for testimony.

    It was more complicated than that. The immunity in question was “use” immunity (which most of the time is all that will be given, as opposed to transactional immunity). You could still prosecute someone so long as you established that you did not make any use of the coerced testimony. For North, special prosecutor Walsh had all of the evidence they were going to use against him sealed before he seconded the grant of immunity (his consent was not required, but Congress cooperated with him so as not to wreck the criminal case against North). This was the standard procedure at the time for this type of problem.

    Walsh then convicted North and also showed that he had not used any of the information coerced from North, who then appealed. The DC Circuit, led by wingnut Laurence Silberman (now retired and on wingnut welfare), made new law in overturning the conviction. They held that the prosecutor had to also show that none of his witnesses were influenced in their testimony by being able to hear the coerced testimony of North — an essentially impossible standard to satisfy, and particularly so after the fact when you took no steps in advance to try and meet a standard that did not yet exist. Walsh could have retried North, but knew it was futile under this new legal standard.

    To be fair, the new rule is something that I imagine criminal defense lawyers would argue for since there is the possibility that coerced testimony then enables witnesses to couch their story most favorably — there is a reason why witnesses are normally excluded from attending trials in which they are going to testify. But I also guarantee you that Silberberg would have voted against such an extension of protection for the accused in 100 cases out of 100 until North came along, and needed a get out of jail free card.

  283. 283
    MattR says:

    @Corner Stone: The problem is that you can’t give a straight answer on whether private individuals have the right to form opinions about guilt or innocence based on someone invoking the 5th in a criminal matter. Your response to my employer scenario seems to indicate that you think that it is reasonable for them to weigh it negatively when making a hiring decision. But you have also said it is awful to think it is reasonable that everyday people would hold that silence against you. I don’t understand the difference. Why is it reasonable for a potential employer to use that information to influence his opinion of the person, but not a random guy on the internet?

    @Cliff in NH: I completely understand that. My issue is that Corner Stone also said it was an awful perspective to think that it is reasonable for everyday people (outside of a courtroom) to draw their own conclusions about guilt or innocence based on that silence. I am trying to understand the rationale behind that.

  284. 284
    kc says:

    @Cliff in NH:

    Well, your question to me was fine. Just googling around I find a Supreme Court case that holds that the feds may not use, in a criminal prosecution, testimony given by the defendant under a grant of immunity by the state.

    My initial thought was that the possibility of a federal prosecution might be one reason for Wildstein to take the Fifth, but it’s more complicated than I thought, and I’ll defer to the criminal-lawyer types here.

  285. 285
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @kc: This case?

  286. 286
    kc says:

    @dmbeaster:

    That bastard North got off on what wingnuts usually like to call a “technicality.”

  287. 287
    kc says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    LOL, that’s the one. It would have saved me time if I had read that thread first. :)

  288. 288
    RobNYNY1957 says:

    @Seanly: A friend of mine who is a professional photographer uses the Canon S105 as his point and shoot. It has almost the same controls and configuration as his Canon SLR, but in the pocket format. About $300.

  289. 289
    Corner Stone says:

    @MattR: Hey man, if you can’t read that is not my problem.
    I stated an opinion. Quite clearly and repeatedly, that an individual can infer anything they care to. Basically on any topic under the sun, not just the 5th amendment.
    But that, IMO, I do not like the idea that people state when someone invokes the 5th they have a reasonable expectation that person has something to hide.
    Can anyone hold that belief, and state their opinion? YES! YES! I SAID EXACTLY THAT MULTIPLE TIMES IN THIS THREAD! IT’S RIGHT THERE FOR ANY PERSON TO READ!
    But I have been consistent in stating that, AGAIN IMO, I do my best to not hold that view and give people room to use their constitutional rights in any way they choose!
    That’s right! I stated an opinion! It’s my opinion and I stated it consistently and repeatedly! That’s what I did!
    The govt, in a criminal case, is barred from holding your 5th amendment rights against you! It’s amazing, but still somehow true!
    And, amazingly, private citizens can form their own opinion about people who don’t answer questions! Both in a criminal trial and EVERY FUCKING OTHER PLACE UNDER THE GOD DAMN MOTHER FUCKING SKY!
    Yes! YES!! People can have an opinion that has no bearing on a criminal trial outcome!
    IT’S FUCKING AMAZING!!

  290. 290
    Cliff in NH says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Look at that, we agree:

    individuals have the right to take what you say or do not say for or against you.

    All that these rights refer to is the power of the gov over the individual.

    The Gov can’t break rights, Individuals don’t have the power of govt.

  291. 291
    MattR says:

    @Corner Stone:

    But that, IMO, I do not like the idea that people state when someone invokes the 5th they have a reasonable expectation that person has something to hide.

    So you don’t like the idea that a potential employer would base their hiring decision on a person invoking the 5th in a matter related to their previous employment? OK. All you had to do was say that the first time I asked.

  292. 292
    Corner Stone says:

    @MattR: Moran. GFY.

  293. 293
    Cliff in NH says:

    @MattR:

    It’s not a gov’t decision, I think that what you describe is irrelevant under the law. Why can’t a employer refuse employment if they follow the existing laws?

    unless it breaks existing labor law. then it would be covered under existing labor law, right?

    Would a potential employer deliberately break labor laws just to not employ this person?

    Why?

    What are your state labor laws?

    oh, and what Job did this potential employee plead the fifth for? Accountant? Tax Lawyer? Cashier? Was It related to their job? Huh?

  294. 294
    MattR says:

    @Cliff in NH: My hypothetical was a guy is questioned about a theft at his job and takes the 5th. In that case, I think it is perfectly reasonable for the current employer to fire the employee based on that refusal to answer law enforcement’s questions and I think it is equally reasonable for future employer’s to reject that applicant for the same reason. Apparently, Corner Stone does not like that idea at all.

  295. 295
    Cliff in NH says:

    @MattR:

    my pardon if I missed this bit:

    I think it is equally reasonable for future employer’s to reject that applicant for the same reason.

    But wasn’t that what he was saying?

    He was referring to CRIMINAL law, Not the civil law that governs employment. (Again, I Think; ETC, Not lawyer etc.)

  296. 296
    Corner Stone says:

    @MattR: You are incapable of actually reading anything in this thread.

  297. 297
    Cliff in NH says:

    @MattR:

    Oh, Fire is different from hire too. just fyi.

  298. 298
    Cliff in NH says:

    @Corner Stone:

    You need to explain for the uninformed, Please make an effort.

  299. 299
    MattR says:

    @Cliff in NH:

    But wasn’t that what he was saying?

    He has been saying that and I agree with that part. But he has also repeatedly said that he does not like the idea of private individuals presuming something negative about an individual’s decision to take the fifth (which I imagine would also apply to a private company and the private individuals who make hiring decisions there as well).

    EDIT: I disagree with that opinion, but I can understand it. I was trying to find out if Corner Stone was consistent with that belief and applied it universally to all private individuals (including employers) and if not I wanted to understand where the line was and why.

  300. 300
    tybee says:

    3/5 of a TBogg unit. not bad.

  301. 301
    Cliff in NH says:

    @MattR:

    But he has also repeatedly said that he does not like the idea of private individuals presuming something negative about an individual’s decision to take the fifth

    Say what? Of course! the 5’th is only about govt power over the individual!

  302. 302
    MattR says:

    @MattR:

    I disagree with that opinion, but I can understand it.

    Actually, I am not exactly sure that I can understand it, but I think I am at least willing to give it a shot with an open mind.

  303. 303
    MattR says:

    @Cliff in NH: Most recently here, but he has made similar claims elsewhere in this thread.

    “But that, IMO, I do not like the idea that people state when someone invokes the 5th they have a reasonable expectation that person has something to hide.”

  304. 304
    Cliff in NH says:

    @MattR:

    re: Edit:

    But the constitution only applys to the govt? don’t you get that restrictions on govt are not restrictions on industry?

  305. 305
    Cliff in NH says:

    @Cliff in NH:

    restrictions on govt are not restrictions on industry?

    Restrictions on industry?
    Those are called Laws.

  306. 306
    Cliff in NH says:

    @MattR:

    So, Where is the LAW that FORCES a employer to hire a applicant who plead the 5’th in a related industry?

    Hmmm??

  307. 307
    MattR says:

    @Cliff in NH:

    But the constitution only applys to the govt? don’t you get that restrictions on govt are not restrictions on industry?

    I completely understand that. That is why I have no problem with an employer refusing to hire someone who has taken the 5th at some point in the past. It is why my belief that David Wildstein has something to hide became stronger because he took the 5th today. Corner Stone is the one who does not like me applying that standard.

  308. 308
    Corner Stone says:

    @MattR: It’s not a fucking mystery, man.
    The government has its rules, and I hope they follow them. Civil courts and personal/private situations have their own set(s) of rules. Private employers have to follow rules/laws set in their jurisdictions.
    People are free to do/think/believe anything they like! If when enacted it doesn’t go against the law and doesn’t damage someone else they can believe in a green cheese moon! Or hell, believe in a green cheese moon, anyway!
    For the eleventy billionth time. I have my opinion. I stated it. I want to propagate my opinion, but have no power, rule or mechanism to do such except to repeatedly state it.
    That’s it. That’s all. An opinion regarding our society and our system of jurisprudence and personal/private outcomes.
    Here:
    In a criminal court of law/venue, when a person invokes their right to the 5th amendment, I personally do not automatically judge them as guilty for not fully answering questions. I hope others, as well, do not pre-judge them as guilty or as having something to hide.
    THAT IS FUCKING IT!

  309. 309
    MattR says:

    @Corner Stone:

    In a criminal court of law/venue, when a person invokes their right to the 5th amendment, I personally do not automatically judge them as guilty for not fully answering questions. I hope others, as well, do not pre-judge them as guilty or as having something to hide.
    THAT IS FUCKING IT!

    And I am trying to understand this opinion of yours because in my head the logical follow up is that you hope that an employer would not refuse to hire an employee just because they took the 5th in a criminal matter related to a previous job. So I am trying to understand if you agree with that proposition (I think the answer is yes, but you still have never explicitly answered it). If that is the case, I don’t agree with or really understand that belief, but I can at least respect that you are consistent in its application. OTOH if you disagree with that proposition, I would like to understand why you judge the employer differently from other private individuals.

  310. 310
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Oh my god.

  311. 311
    Corner Stone says:

    @MattR: Fuck you. Go fuck yourself, and fuck you.

  312. 312
    Cliff in NH says:

    @MattR:

    What The Fuck was that?

  313. 313
    MattR says:

    @Corner Stone: So no “yes or no” answer about how you would hope an employer would act? (Not what they are legally allowed to do, but what you would hope they do)

  314. 314
    Cliff in NH says:

    I would like to understand why you judge the employer differently from other private individuals.

    Big swig of cider, (thanks whoever said just drop in good yeast)

    I would like to understand why you judge the employer differently from other private individuals.

    Because different laws? um.. yea, that.

  315. 315
    Corner Stone says:

    @MattR: Sometimes, the Smoky Mountains are really not smoky but more of a purple ponicorn flavor. The BBQ in Vegas is nice but BP wells in the Gulf make golfing in South Carolina hard.
    Other times we try to Mars, but that elevator doesn’t blink twice before the yellow umbrella opens. It’s kind of like TV, but I don’t believe anything that moves more than once a week.

  316. 316
    Cliff in NH says:

    @MattR:

    Dude: lawyer talks law, not feelings.

  317. 317
    Cliff in NH says:

    @Corner Stone:

    MollyRuns Round the lake,Up the mtns, Fun Fun FUn Yay Dogs!

  318. 318
    MattR says:

    @Cliff in NH: But we have never been talking about laws. We have been talking about how Corner Stone feels/hopes that people would act.

  319. 319
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Corner Stone: Your TV moves? The whole set or just the pictures?

  320. 320
    Cliff in NH says:

    @MattR:

    Um, No, 5’th amendment is the topic, Sorry you haven’t been reading along.

  321. 321
    MattR says:

    @Cliff in NH: And I entered the conversation when Corner Stone went beyond what the 5th Amendment requires and added his opinion about how he hopes individuals would act. I have been trying to figure out if he is absolutist in his opinion of if there are exceptions (such as an employer)

  322. 322
    Cliff in NH says:

    @MattR:

    I think you just have to accept that there is difference of opinion and there is force of government, and that there is a difference between the two.

  323. 323
    Corner Stone says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: All those little people trapped behind the glass winder screen. They do their little jiggys and their funny times.
    But I don’t trust ’em. Not one damn bit!

  324. 324
    MattR says:

    @Cliff in NH: Of course. But that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t ask questions to try and flesh out someone’s opinion so I can fully understand it.

  325. 325
    Nerull says:

    @The Dangerman: And you can continue to be part of the reason why people think badly of Christians.

  326. 326
    Cliff in NH says:

    @MattR:

    You have not been doing that very effectively then have you?

  327. 327
    Cliff in NH says:

    gn’ight all cider beckons, decide among yourselves who is wrong.

    ps: (You are all wrong;You are allsortakindaish-maybe, perhaps right)

  328. 328
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @jehrler:

    I’m with you on how it may be best not to answer during an interrogation or trial, but I thought once one was subpoenaed one had to answer questions absent an assertion of the 5th that was not unreasonable.

    This has come up in congressional hearings over the years. Sometimes it seems like a trap – “Why won’t you tell me where you work? I’m so disappointed!”

    The logic goes like this, I think:

    Once you invoke the 5th, you can’t be compelled to answer questions. But once you answer a question, you do not get to pick and choose what to answer next. You can’t say, “I’ll answer this one, but not the next one, because doing so may incriminate me.” Witnesses don’t get to pick and choose what they’ll answer. Remember the oath is “I solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth …”.

    This makes sense – our court system of adversarial argument to get at the truth would fall apart if witnesses were able to pick and choose what to answer.

    So, if he takes the 5th, he can’t answer any questions or he loses its protections.

    But, if he’s given immunity, he has to testify and fully answer any questions (since he can’t self-incriminate any longer).

    IANAL either.

    HTH.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  329. 329
    Cliff in NH says:

    does anyone have a copy of the supposed immunity thing for this guy??

  330. 330
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Cliff in NH: APP:

    Except to take an oath to tell the truth, state and spell his name, say he lives in Montville, acknowledge the subpoena’s rules and thank an assemblyman who offered a compliment, Wildstein essentially stuck to shortened varieties of this answer: “On the advice of my counsel, I respectfully assert my right to remain silent under the United States and New Jersey constitutions.”

    Wildstein didn’t have that right, said Assemblyman John Wisniewski, D-Middlesex, chairman of the Assembly transportation committee. He said state law would have prevented any prosecutors from using statements made at the hearing in any lane-closures criminal case that may be brought. State law also says witnesses can’t refuse to answer proper and pertinent questions.

    As a result the committee voted unanimously, including the four Republicans, to find Wildstein in contempt, which is a misdemeanor.

    More at the link.

    Bottom line: Apparently he wasn’t offered immunity (and certainly not the full immunity his lawyer wants) yet.

    HTH.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  331. 331
    Cliff in NH says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet:

    Most interesting, looks like I gotta read some NJ law, hope its online.. Links appreciated once again…

    state law would have prevented any prosecutors from using statements made at the hearing in any xxxxxxxxxx criminal case

    anyone gotta direct link to that law, or NJ law sites???

  332. 332
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cliff in NH: This Sup.Ct. case really covers it. Follow the links.

  333. 333
    Cliff in NH says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I’m still reading that one, saw it earlier, I was wondering at stuff specific to NJ …

  334. 334
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cliff in NH: There may be something, but functionally it doesn’t really matter.

  335. 335
    Shortstop says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: No. One may plead the 5th on all,
    some (any number of) or no questions.

  336. 336
    Cliff in NH says:

    Senate Bill No. 1878:
    http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2.....878_S1.HTM

    – snip – Under current law, a person who knowingly gives or causes to be given false information to a law enforcement officer in order to implicate another commits a crime of the fourth degree. – snip –

    is this irrelevant?

  337. 337
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Shortstop: A defendant in a criminal case gets an all or nothing choice. A witness at a hearing or at a trial can pick and choose the questions on which s/he seeks the protection against self-incrimination.

    @Cliff in NH: If this is aimed at me, yeah, it’s irrelevant. Not giving info =/= giving false info.

  338. 338
    Shortstop says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yep. This isn’t a criminal case. (Yet.) Wildstein didn’t have an all-or-nothing choice today.

  339. 339
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Shortstop: IANAL, but it doesn’t seem so cut and dried to me. Maybe I’m missing a subtlety in the recent Lois Lerner testimony – it sure seems like one must be very careful if one talks while invoking the Fifth.

    Corrections welcome.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  340. 340
    Cliff in NH says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    hmm.. I think I’m too lost to even comment on this further.

  341. 341
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Shortstop: Also, it appears (I haven’t seen it stated directly yet) that he is being given use immunity for his testimony. That means that, if anyone wants to prosecute him for any topic on which he testified, they must show that they got the info from completely independent sources with no reliance on his testimony.*

    *General statement. Caveats apply. Etc.

  342. 342
    Shortstop says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: Issa and Gowdy were trying to pretend that a Congressional hearing is identical to a criminal trial. It isn’t, and Lerner didn’t lose her ability to plead the 5th by giving an opening statement, as she would have in a criminal courtroom in which she was being tried. See alternative reality, Republican, but be careful — there’s a lot to slog through there.

  343. 343
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Shortstop: Thanks for your push-back. It gave me the incentive to find the NYMag piece above.

    The things that concerns me in that are 1) apparently they were going to pursue it in court (don’t know if they did or not), and 2) that part at the end about answering a “few questions – 5, 10, 20”. Would a person really want to risk having to defend themselves over a question that they answered more than “a few” questions before invoking the 5th? Isn’t it safer to be as conservative as possible and simply clam up?

    Lawyers argue about settled law all the time – it’s what they are trained to do. This seems uncomfortably mushy to me, but I suppose all of the law is if you look closely enough.

    Thanks.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  344. 344
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: @Cliff in NH: Without trying to be a dick (and without trying to piss off Shortstop again), immunity questions start very quickly to get into the legal weeds. I can make a general statement about how stuff works and have done so a couple of times above. If I were to try for the next level of detail, I would need three or four pages of text to lay things out – and that wouldn’t cover state by state variations. But outside of the general principles it is the realm of lawyer wrangling and pissing contests.

  345. 345
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Don’t bother on my account. I appreciate your contributions already. (My first comment was written before I read yours, I think.)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  346. 346
    Shortstop says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Huh? You didn’t piss me off in the least; I was nodding along with your comment that the general principles of how the 5th may be pled are different in a legislative hearing (which is what I’mNotSure was referring to) than in a criminal trial (the rules of which he or she thought also applied to a for-information-only Congressional hearing). There are several reasons why Wildstein and his attorney thought it best that he answer zilch today. “All or nothing if he pleads the 5th” wasn’t one of them.

  347. 347
    Shortstop says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet:

    Would a person really want to risk having to defend themselves over a question that they answered more than “a few” questions before invoking the 5th? Isn’t it safer to be as conservative as possible and simply clam up?

    Well, but now you’re into what may be advisable as opposed to what’s allowable. Your original comment was only about whether Wildstein could have chosen to answer some questions while preserving his right to invoke the 5th on others, and that is really all I was addressing in my response.

  348. 348
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Shortstop: I was referring earlier dealings. And wrt those, I think that as an “insider” in the system, I may have expected a certain amount of craziness from Justices, but I thought that enough of the Justices were sane that everything would work out. I also may not have expressed that view as well as I should have. Over the past couple of years, I have been a bit bothered by the way I expressed things. The fact that some in the judiciary are nuts is common knowledge in the legal community – it has always been the case. We (some of us at least) in the legal community don’t communicate that very well to lay people.

    This is closest to a mea culpa you will get from me for ACA situation.

  349. 349
    Shortstop says:

    Water under the bridge, pal. And thanks.

  350. 350
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Shortstop: Good points. ;-)

    (I knew I should have read the 300+ comments before posting, rather than just searching for followups.)

    You and OO both taught me some things tonight. Thanks.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  351. 351
  352. 352
    Shortstop says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: it’s endlessly fascinating to watch, innit? Time this broad was in bed. Night, all.

Comments are closed.