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View Diary: Former Christie aide takes the Fifth before New Jersey Assembly (219 comments)

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  •  What's the legal basis for your (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MPociask

    assertion? AFAIK, the 14th Amendment makes the 5th Amendment applicable to the states. (See, also, Kastigar v. United States "[The privilege against self-incrimination] can be asserted in any proceeding, civil or criminal, administrative or judicial, investigatory or adjudicatory ....").

    Out with the gloomage - in with the plumage!

    by mikidee on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 11:40:18 AM PST

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    •  The word and opinion of the committee chair (0+ / 0-)

      was the basis for my "assertion", and I was merely relaying it. And AFAIK the 9th amendment means that not all federal law applies to states for purely internal matters. In any case, I'll leave it up to the courts, the proper venue for such opinions, which will surely weigh in before this is all over,

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 12:07:38 PM PST

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      •  Um, no - the 9th Amendment doesn't (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        daeros

        trump the 5th.

        Will some court ultimately decide the issue in this particular case? Dunno - I think the attorney has offered the testimony if his client is granted immunity by the committee rather than relying on a statutory grant that the chairman appears to be relying on. Might be in everyone's best interest to just grant it and get it over with.

        Then again, maybe the point is to delay.

        In any event the issue is immunity, not whether the 5th Amendment applies to the state proceeding.

        It does.

        Out with the gloomage - in with the plumage!

        by mikidee on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 12:34:19 PM PST

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        •  Never said it "trumps" the 5th (0+ / 0-)

          Just that it states that the constitution doesn't address all aspects of law, and AFAIK this might be one of them.

          And what you dismissively refer to as "a statutory grant that the chairman appears to be relying on" is what most people call the law, which no matter how much you or I or some hired legal gun believes might be unconstitutional in this or that instance, is to be considered and treated as law unless and until a court rules it unconstitutional.

          Are we REALLY going to argue over nullification, which has been repeatedly found to be absolutely, positively and unquestionably unconstitutional?!?

          Civilians do not have the power of legal review, PERIOD.

          "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

          by kovie on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 12:52:58 PM PST

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          •  Good lord .... I am not dismissing (0+ / 0-)

            statutory law. I'm trying to figure out why the committee isn't granting the witness immunity.

            New Jersey has an immunity statute (that's pretty darned broad). It appears the committee isn't using it. Given the 5th Amendment clearly applies to this hearing, I am wondering why the committee hasn't invoked the statute.

            "Nullification" is not implicated.

            Look - I'm not sure what you think we're arguing about. You seem to be claiming the 5th Amendment didn't apply to the hearing; I say it does.

            Out with the gloomage - in with the plumage!

            by mikidee on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 01:18:12 PM PST

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            •  because they can't grant FEDERAL immunity (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kovie

              which is mostly what he may need. What I take from his lawyer's signalling is that they need the US Attorney's office to make some sort of offer, and then they'll come back and be willing to work out a deal for testimony.

              It's like if I'm facing murder charges in Oklahoma, and a Massachusetts cop tries to question me. The Massachusetts cop does not have the authority to grant me immunity on the Oklahoma charges, so if I'm smart and listening to my lawyer, I refuse to talk to the Mass. cop. Only here it's state-federal instead of State A-State B.

              •  Not exactly. (0+ / 0-)

                Look up Zicarelli v New Jersey - depends on the scope of the privilege. I would provide citations but my Kindle is making that difficult righf now.

                Bottom line is state immunity statutes can protect against later use in a federal prosecution, but it's use immunity, not transactional immunity so it's more limited.

                The question remains (for me at least) - why not use the statutory process to grant the witness immunity?

                Out with the gloomage - in with the plumage!

                by mikidee on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 03:33:14 PM PST

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                •  Why should a principal be granted immunity (0+ / 0-)

                  so early in the investigatory process? That's NUTS. Squeeze the fucker for all he's got, then dangle immunity if he's willing to offer up the big cheese.

                  "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                  by kovie on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 05:58:01 PM PST

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                  •  "Because" the 5th Amendment (0+ / 0-)

                    protects him from self incrimination, thus he won't and shouldn't talk unless and until he's been granted immunity.

                    If the committee wants to know what he has to say about the "traffic study," it needs to grant him immunity. There's not a nut-squeezing exception to the 5th Amendment.

                    Out with the gloomage - in with the plumage!

                    by mikidee on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 06:15:02 PM PST

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                    •  AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! (0+ / 0-)

                      I give up!!! The freaking chair of the committee said that he had no right to immunity in THIS particular situation and the committee appeared to agree with him since it voted to hold Wildstein in contempt and refer it for possible  prosecution, but NOOOOOO, you know NJ and federal law better!

                      Perhaps you should write a nice letter to the committee explaining why they don't know the law as well as you do?

                      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                      by kovie on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 06:21:22 PM PST

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                      •  IIRC, you stressed the importance of (0+ / 0-)

                        judicial review in one of your comments, which seems to contradict your current reliance on the committee's position. My questions have always and only been about the legal basis of the committee's and your position that the witness has no 5th Amendment rights in this proceeding.

                        Yes - it 's a legal question. And no - you have not answered it.

                        Out with the gloomage - in with the plumage!

                        by mikidee on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 06:34:04 PM PST

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                        •  X2!!!!!!! (0+ / 0-)

                          The chair asserted what NJ law says, regardless of your esteemed belief that it's unconstitutional (I guess that lawyer wasn't the only one playing with nullification), and I have no reason to doubt his mastery of NJ law.

                          The committee chair was ENFORCING that law and the lawyer was disputing it, thus the judicial review snark. Only lawful courts of jurisdiction have the power of such review, not you, not me, not that overpaid hack lawyer.

                          WTF are you talking about?

                          "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                          by kovie on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 07:17:13 PM PST

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            •  The committee chairman said quite clearly (0+ / 0-)

              that he had no legal right to take the 5th in that hearing. Either he was lying, is a misinformed idiot, or--wait for it--he actually knew what he's talking about. After he was done with his non-testimony, the committee voted to hold him in contempt and refer it to the proper prosecuting body.

              Are you claiming that the chair and committee doesn't know the applicable law, or was willfully violating it--in a hearing about politicians violating the law?!?

              In any case, committees are under no obligation to grant witnesses immunity in exchange for testimony. They do it sometimes when the witness committed a relatively minor crime and/or was testifying against a much bigger fish, but when they do do it, it's usually much later in the investigation process, not at its outset, which is where we are now. This is all preliminary fact-finding. The juicy stuff is still to come. Wildstein will be called back, and others.

              Also, as rm has noted, what he and others will want is federal prosecutorial, not legislative immunity, and this body had no power to grant that.

              Today was just a setup, nothing more.

              "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

              by kovie on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 05:56:44 PM PST

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