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View Diary: Report: Feds subpoena Christie's Port Authority chairman in conflict of interest investigation (107 comments)

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  •  Their defense is amusing (11+ / 0-)

    "If we turn over the subpoenaed documents, it might incriminate us, and that would violate our 5th amendment rights."

    That is, as I understand it, the point of a subpoena - to get one in the first place, you need evidence that a crime occurred and that the documents in question might shed light thereon.

    Either every subpoena of documents in the history of the US is going to get tossed, or their appeal is. Choose one.

    Purity is for primaries; in the general, our worst are better than their best.

    by blue aardvark on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 01:41:01 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  In general, you cannot claim a 5th Amendment (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Janet 707, Creosote, blue aardvark

      privilege with respect to previously created documents, particularly if the subpoena is directed to a corporate or other collective entity. If the documents are incriminating, that's just too bad. There are however some circumstances in which there is an "implied" right against self-incrimination with respect to producing documents in response to a subpoena. These circumstances generally arise where the subpoena is very broad -- so broad that the act of determining whether there are responsive documents to produce becomes testimonial as opposed to ministerial. This "act of production" doctrine is not so broad that you can simply refuse to produce any document that makes you look bad.

    •  Their defense is even more amusing when (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Janet 707, a2nite, Creosote, blue aardvark

      you realize that they are already giving the same documents to the NJ US attorney.

      So their argument is that they don't want to incriminate themselves by giving documents to a committee that can't bring criminal charges against them, while simultaneously giving the exact same documents to someone who can and will bring criminal charges, federal charges to boot.

      And their lawyers actually get paid REAL good money for making this kind of argument. I shoulda gone to law school.

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