Christie Employees Loving Them Some Fifth Amendment Rights

Christie’s former Deputy Chief of Staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, has refused to respond to the New Jersey Legislature’s subpoena about Bridgegate, instead asserting her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.  She was the one who sent the “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” email to David Wildstein, who replied, “Got it,” and has himself taken the Fifth in a live appearance before the New Jersey Assembly.

Bill Stepien, who ran both of Christie’s gubernatorial campaigns and served as a deputy Chief of Staff in between, has also pleaded the Fifth.  Stepien had been on track to become head of the New Jersey GOP and probably Christie’s 2016 campaign manager, because, you know, he did such a bang up job on President Rudy Giuliani’s 2008 campaign.  His rising star has now been sucked into the black hole that is Team Christie.

These folks are happy to tell what they know, they just want immunity from prosecution before they do it.  And when the fat lady sings, it will be all over for the fat boy.

Christie Guy Takes the Fifth

David Wildstein, the disgraced Christie appointee to the Port Authority who told George Washington Bridge officials to close the Fort Lee lanes, was subpoenaed to testify before a committee of the New Jersey assembly today.

He refused to answer questions, invoking his Fifth Amendment privilege.

If he flips in exchange for immunity from prosecution, he should have some interesting tales to tell.

So You Don’t Have a Right to Remain Silent

In  what seems to me a bizarre ruling, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Salinas v. Texas that if you simply refuse to answer a question, that silence can be held against you at trial.  You can’t simply remain silent, you have to expressly invoke your Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

It seems to me that if you refuse to answer, a prosecutor should not be able to use that against you before a judge or jury.  You shouldn’t have to say some “magic words” to receive your Fifth Amendment rights.