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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Is Eric Holder Obstructing Justice By Guiding IRS Officials To Remain Silent

PERJURY IS A CRIME SO -- WINK, WINK -- IF YOU SAY NOTHING WE CAN'T PROSECUTE YOU. Attorney General Eric Holder reminds IRS officials that the laws against false statements (used to convict Martha Stewart and Scooter Libby) may be used against them in any criminal investigation of the IRS scrutiny of Tea Party and other conservative organizations.  

Of course, this is both legally sound advice -- you can't get prosecuted for NOT saying anything -- and quite possibly a coded message that these officials should not say anything for precisely that reason.  One wonders if the intent of this message was precisely to discourage anyone from testifying.  (Again, this is legally sound advice for the officials, who would definitely risk criminal prosecution for false statements for saying anything.  See my analysis on why saying anything to the feds puts you at risk of prosecution, which was recently picked up by constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley's blog.)  Remove the cover of the legally colorable advice, and you are on the slippery slope towards witness intimidation.  In the parlance of the federal criminal code, this could even be viewed as a form of obstruction of justice.

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