Something tells me that Pat Leahy and Goodling's lawyer, John Dowd, won't be getting drinks together anytime soon.
Shortly after Monica Goodling's lawyer informed the Senate Judiciary Committee that she would take the Fifth if called to testify, committee Chairman Pat Leahy (D-VT) released a statement:
âIt is disappointing that Ms. Goodling has decided to withhold her important testimony from the Committee as it pursues its investigation into this matter, but everybody has the constitutional right not to incriminate themselves with regard to criminal conduct.
âThe American people are left to wonder what conduct is at the base of Ms. Goodlingâs concern that she may incriminate herself in connection with criminal charges if she appears before the Committee under oath.â
The line about wondering what Goodling was hiding was too much for her lawyer, who immediately shot off a letter saying that "your comment ignores the very basis on which Ms. Goodling has asserted her constitutional right... the Fifth Amendment protects innocent
persons who might otherwise be ensnared by ambiguous circumstances, as much as it protects those who may have done something wrong." [his emphasis]
He then goes on to deride the "politically charged environment" created by Leahy and his peers in which "even innocent witnesses would be well-advised not to testify." So there.
Sen. Leahy? Ball's in your court.