Pleading the Fifth: Five Times Obama Officials Avoided Testifying During a Scandal
Remember the good old days when a fresh-faced President Obama insisted that he was running the most transparent administration in history?
Seems so long ago.
Now, as we’re apt to see an aide to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton invoke the Fifth Amendment and avoid testifying before Congress about his boss’s illegal private email server, we thought ‘man this seems familiar.’
Without further ado, here are five famous moments in Obama administration transparency. Five times witnesses were so knee-deep in scandal that the only choice they had in avoiding the appearance of illegality was by completely covering up the truth.
- VA official, John Sepulveda, spent large amounts of taxpayer money on a pair of extravagant conferences, resigned, and then spent the majority of a hearing looking into his actions saying “On the advice of my counsel, I respectfully decline to answer based on my fifth Amendment constitutional privilege.”
- Fast and Furious – remember the scandal that started it all? Patrick Cunningham, the chief of the criminal division of the U.S. attorney’s office in Arizona, invoked the fifth regarding his role in the operation that sent more than 2,000 guns across the border to dangerous drug cartels. Those guns were found at the scene of Brian Terry’s murder.
- While not technically administration officials, Solyndra executives were so intertwined in Obama’s stimulus boondoggle that it felt as such. Naturally, when Congress wanted answers on why the solar company was awarded a $535 million loan guarantee through the stimulus, they invoked the fifth Amendment.
- Greg Rosemen, a Deputy IRS Director, pleaded the fifth after awarding the largest contract in IRS history to a company owned by a close friend.
- And of course, probably the most famous effort at pleading the fifth, was Lois Lerner, who repeatedly asserted her right not to testify regarding the scandal that her agency, the IRS, targeted conservative groups and withheld or prolonged their applications for tax-exempt status.
It’s worth watching again … the Plead the Fifth administration at its best.
Why does the Obama-Clinton administration have such an epidemic of people needing to plead the fifth to avoid scandal?