IRS department head Learner recently plead the 5th amendment so as not to incriminate herself while testifying before a Congressional hearing on the IRS targeting Tea Party groups for special negative treatment.
Why would anyone plead the 5th amendment in a court setting, especially when working with a bunch of people where e-mails are going back and forth? Knowing that others in the department are aware of what is going on? I was thinking of Ms. L. Learner when writing about this legal maneuver . She gets brought into the hearing for questioning regarding the IRS targeting scandal and she pleads the 5th. Doesn’t that prove that she has something to hide or is at least guilty to some degree in whatever happened? Yes, legally she may not have to testify against herself but it sure makes her look guilty.
To me if a person pleads the 5th that would be either to protect someone (including themselves) or in her case perhaps having been offered a promotion to another department in exchange for her silence. Perhaps she could end up with more take home pay and with more power over other people and an opportunity to advance to a higher post in the government. By taking the 5th she is showing that she knows more than what she is willing to divulge to protect herself and whoever else that was involved in what she did. She did make a bad mistake by saying “I am not guilty of anything” and only then taking the 5th since she has already made a statement. According to the laws of the USA she can’t take the 5th in that situation.
Myself, I would of offered her immunity just to get at the truth and then investigate if what she said was in fact the truth. While investigating her statements, I would have let her go to work and at the first opportunity find an excuse to fire her. If what she said when making her statements was found to be lies then she could have been sent to jail for a long time because her lies would have been perjury, because her statements would have been made by swearing to tell the truth.