“The potential for legal jeopardy for Ms. Goodling from even her most truthful and accurate testimony under these circumstances is very real,” says her lawyer.
WASHINGTON — Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ liaison with the White House will refuse to answer questions at upcoming Senate hearings about the firings of eight U.S. attorneys, citing her Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination, her lawyer said Monday.
“I have decided to follow my lawyer’s advice and respectfully invoke my constitutional right,” Monica Goodling [pictured right, at a law school alumnus picnic], Gonzales’ counsel and White House liaison, said in a statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Goodling’s statement contradicted her boss’ promise to allow his top aides to testify before Congress, voluntarily and under oath.
John Dowd, Goodling’s lawyer, suggested in a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., that the Democrat-led panel has laid what amounts to a perjury trap for his client.
Goodling, one of several aides involved in the firings of federal prosecutors, will refuse to answer senators’ questions. “The potential for legal jeopardy for Ms. Goodling from even her most truthful and accurate testimony under these circumstances is very real,” Dowd said. Goodling was key to the Justice Department’s political response to the growing controversy. She took a leave of absence last week.
“One need look no further than the recent circumstances and proceedings involving Lewis Libby,” Dowd said, a reference to the recent conviction of Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff in the CIA leak case.
Leahy swiftly cast doubt about Goodling’s motives. “The American people are left to wonder what conduct is at the base of Ms. Goodling’s concern that she may incriminate herself in connection with criminal charges if she appears before the committee under oath,” said Leahy.
ASSOCIATED PRESS: “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 offense 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.” — The Fifth Amendment, U.S. Constitution
ONE SENTENCE EDITORIAL: Isn’t it interesting that the very same people that have actively denied Due Process and Habeas Corpus to others are the first to invoke those rights the minute their tit gets in the wringer?