Patrick's Rants


Can You Really Plead the Fifth to a Subpoena?

Filed under: Politics — site admin @ 6:57 pm

So… Bridget Kelly is claiming the fourth and fifth amendments to the US Constitution in order to not produce documents and emails being subpoenaed by the legislative committee looking into the so-called “bridge gate” scandal over there in New Jersey. I was confused about the fifth amendment claim since she is not actually testifying, my armchair legal analysis doesn’t seem to allow for refusal to turn over documents – documents most likely covered under Freedom of Information Act and open government laws. An attempt to go to a judge to quash the subpoena, perhaps, but refusal to produce evidence? She is not the first to do so and she seems to have a very knowledgeable attorney working for her and the fear seems to be if she speaks before the state legislature a possible protection from criminal prosecution may fail.

When I first heard about this story, I figured it would wisp away like smoke from a failing spark. The story seems to continue to evolve and it might turn out something real – and criminal – is afoot. It feels a little like piling on for Chris Christie, but this is how these things tend to work themselves out. Once there is a public accuser, others feel emboldened to speak out. I could be wrong, but it looks a lot like the GOP will have to look for a new 2016 nominee.

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