So, you're saying that the IRS chick pleading the 5th on targeting Conservative groups isn't hiding anything?
What I may think, and what is proven are two different things. Opinion versus fact, right? I'm not saying you can't believe what you want. I'm saying that if you want to convince others that what you think is true, you have to go a step further and find some proof.
The two cases are significantly different. We know for a fact that conservative groups were targeted in the IRS case. No one is refuting that. No one even questions whether it was done by a few local folks in IRS branch offices, or whether it was done via directives (or even just because of the structure of the approval process) from higher up. Before putting Lois Lerner on the stand, a good year of investigation was done, establishing that Lerner had set up the processes which more or less required that conservative groups applications end out being delayed, and also that she personally had a biased opinion that conservative political groups should somehow not receive tax exempt status (which is in violation of the actual policy and the law).
The reason Conservatives were outraged at Lerner invoking the 5th was because she wasn't really being called in about her own involvement. That had already largely been determined. She was being asked to answer whether she had been directed to do these things from higher up. So she wasn't protecting herself. She was potentially protecting others.
You can argue that maybe those invoking the 5th here are also doing so to protect someone higher up. But the key difference is the lack of solid paper trail even suggesting such a thing. That simply doesn't exist here. It's the point I've been making all along in this thread. I keep trying to find the piece that connects "traffic closures occur" to "governors office closed them to get revenge on democrats" and can't find any. What I see is an "investigation" that starts with the speculation that such a revenge plot occurred, and just leaps to the assumption that it must have happened, and proceeds to investigate all those that it thinks might have been involved.
We have due process for a reason. The cops can't just search your home because they don't like you and then hope they find something incriminating. That's called a fishing expedition. You have to first have sufficient evidence of wrongdoing to proceed. And they don't here. They have proof that some freeway lanes were closed. What they don't have is any evidence at all that the decision to close these lanes was made with the intent of punishing the people of Fort Lee. Zero. Zip. Nada. Doesn't exist.
That's a huge difference.
There's no logical reason to plead the 5th if you believe that you're innocent. Maybe at first to get some legal advice, but to constantly deny progress means that you're hiding something. It maybe unrelated to the accusation, but you're hiding something.
In the most simplistic scenario, that's like someone accusing you of putting something in your pocket and you refusing to empty your pocket.
Um... Except that's precisely how our legal system works. You are protected from the government demanding that you reveal what's in your pocket because otherwise, it'll run around looking through everyone's pockets all the time. That's why they must have a warrant to search your pocket. And while the 5th amendment may be irritating sometimes, if it didn't exist we'd have judges dragging people into court and demanding that they prove they're not guilty. That's not how our system of law works.
The presumption of innocence means that you don't have to tell anyone why you are innocent. The other guy has to prove you are guilty.
And when it comes to investigations rather than trials, the 5th amendment is what prevents fishing expeditions. It makes it so that an investigation has to provide sufficiently powerful paper evidence against someone so as to make the decision to explain themselves more worthwhile to them than potentially damaging. If I can convict you on the evidence I have, it often behooves you to talk. But if I can't, you should stay silent. In the whole lane closure thing, there's so very very little actual evidence of anything that there's no reason at all for anyone to talk on the record. Why should they? The only thing they can do is make some kind of silly mistake and accidentally say something that turns out to be untrue. Then they get themselves into trouble legally, and give the scandal hounds more red meat.
This is precisely what Kelly did wrong. It's entirely possible that when she was asked if she knew about the closures ahead of time, she had completely forgotten that one brief email exchange in which it was mentioned. See, if we start with the assumption that this was a nefarious plot that she was in on, then of course she knew all about this and it was high up on her list of things she was paying attention to, and thus her claiming not to know about it becomes a lie that proves the assumption. But if we instead assume that there was no plot, then this casual conversation would not have stuck with her at all, and the more likely explanation was that she just plain forgot about it. It wasn't important to her, right? If went through the past 6 months of your email and text messages and asked you detailed questions about what information you knew about at specific times, there are good odds that you would get some things wrong as well.
Point being that it doesn't matter why. It only matters that one thing one person close to the governor said was incorrect. That feeds the flames of the scandal. That's why Christie was **** at her. Whether she deliberately lied, or just plain forgot, she made this into a big thing. And political staff at that level are supposed to know better.