Comment: I just graduated law school

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I just graduated law school

a criminal defendant waives their 5th Amendment right once they decide to take the stand. A witness, however, must take the stand, be sworn in under oath, and then raise her 5th amendment privilege to remain silent. Whether or not a witness, like the IRS lady, who was sworn in under oath, and made a statement prior to invoking her 5th amendment right waived such right, is at issue. I am not sure if this issue has ever been addressed by the Supreme Court, but reasonable people can disagree about the meaning of the constitution and whether the 5th amendment is absolute and may be invoked at any point in time, even after speaking. Further, it is physically impossible to compel someone to speak, aside from torture. So even if the House re-calls her as a witness and informs her that under their interpretation of the constitution (which they don't have the final say in how it is interpreted, see Marbury v. Madison), all they can do is hold her in contempt, which she would appeal via writ and the Supreme Court would have to rule on the issue.

"Government is not reason; it is not eloquence. It is force. And force, like fire, is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." George Washington