Trump invokes the 5th amendment over 400 times in New York Attorney General deposition

Originally published at: Trump invokes the 5th amendment over 400 times in New York Attorney General deposition | Boing Boing


Former “President” Donald Trump, who once said, “If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth?” invoked the 5th amendment over 400 times

A cartoonishly grotesque version of a Republican would naturally engage in a cartoonishly grotesque version of Republican hypocrisy. Really, though, neither they nor their voter really care about being called out about it in this age of shamelessness they’ve created.


Principles and rules are for other people to follow. They allow themselves anything in the name of winning.


Indeed. Once again, Wilhoit’s Law:

Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit: There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.


If it wasn’t for double standards they wouldn’t have any standards at all.


Can you just invoke the 5th Amendment or “I don’t remember” whenever you want when under oath? Are they just an automatic out, or is there any possible future ramifications or conditions that are created with their use?


Generally, there is no penalty against the individual for invoking their 5th Amendment rights.

“Perfect” said trump.


It appears to have been a reading exam as well. :man_shrugging:


While this is true in criminal cases, it can have ramifications in any pending civil litigation.


You can really tell that he crafted that statement himself. :sweat_smile:



Merrick Garland, sitting at table, surrounded by flames: “This is fine.”


I think he would’ve liked to have given complete answers, albeit total bullshit answers, but his counsel knows he would just dig himself a huge hole when prosecutors started pointing out the bullshit, backing him into a corner where he hurls more bullshit.


In theory it can only be used to avoid self-incrimination.

As you can’t be forced to give the state that data, the state can’t verify you’re honestly invoking the 5th.


Not a lawyer, but don’t USA courts follow different procedures in civil vs criminal cases? In a civil suit, a defendant only faces financial loss, not jail time, right? Not being a criminal case, the accused or a witness cannot ‘self-incriminate’ unless they give false testimony, right? Please correct me if appropriate.

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Yeah, for conservatives, the hypocrisy is a plus - it indicates they can exert their power however they like, without the constraints of any sort of moral consistency.


Also not a lawyer, but my understanding is that someone may take the 5th in a civil case to avoid confessing to something that would create a criminal liability for themselves. Since answering a civil question with information that incriminates yourself would give prosecutors a reason to charge you with a crime, and use your own words as evidence against you.

Assuming there’s no possible way for the answer to create a criminal liability and the question is relevant to the civil matter, the judge should not allow claiming the 5th on that question.


Can a judge below state or federal Supreme Court level order that constitutional protections be disregarded?

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If there’s no possible way for an answer to incriminate you, then taking the 5th isn’t really a protection anymore. Claiming it isn’t actually protecting you from self incrimination, it’s just contempt at that point.

Having said that, a judge is likely to give substantial leeway on this. If there’s even a slight possibility that it could incriminate them and allow it. Alternatively, they could work with prosecution to arrange for an immunity deal to remove the incrimination concern.

That came up in on of the recent political cases where someone didn’t want to answer for this reason and the prosecution said that no possible answer could be self incriminating, but the judge allowed that there could be some small chance not being considered. An immunity deal was struck on the topic and then answers were required.


Yes, but in civil law there is a quirk when pleading the fifth that can essentially default you into losing the suit. The term is “adverse inference” in relation to Civil vs Criminal and taking the 5th.

Also no where near a lawyer, but this concept came up a lot in the Alex Jones lawsuits when he plead the fifth in his trial.

Essentially, by pleading the fifth, the court can advise the jury they can take the ‘adverse inference’ in those cases and assume the worst, and proceed under that assumption. Lawyer: “Did you do [horrible thing] that would require you pay huge amounts of money to my client[s]?” Defendant: “Why, I plead the fifth!” Judge: “Jury, you can assume defendant did [horrible thing]” Jury: “We find defendant must pay $5 billion because if is more likely to be true than not that they did [horrible thing]”

That more-likely-to-be-true-than-not is the other big difference. Criminal cases require ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ certainty, civil just require more likely true than not. Combine the two and pleading the fifth will play out poorly in civil court.


Legally, yes, you can invoke the 5th all you want with no repercussions in doing so. The burden of proof is always with the prosecution. The Constitution is pretty clear that no one can be forced to incriminate themselves.

In practice though, in a civil case (especially those that go to juries), excessive deflection with “I don’t remembers” can definitely harm your case and make it appear to the jury/judge that you are just trying to avoid the questions.