No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
~ Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
From the statements made by Solyndra execs Brian Harrison and W.G. Stover (above) to the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, you'd never guess that people invoke the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution specifically when faced with questions that might cause them to testify against themselves in a criminal case.
You'd think the Fifth Amendment protects the Solendra execs from answering any old question, for no particular reason, rather than protecting their reticence to discuss any actions on their part that might land them in the slammer after it came to the Oversight Subcommittee's attention that the company led by Harrison and Stover managed to skip off with more than half a billion dollars provided by U.S. taxpayers.
The two execs had like responses to every question posed to them: "On advice of my counsel, I invoke the privilege afforded by the fifth amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and I respectfully decline to answer any questions."
Libs may regard the Second Amendment as a dangerous anacronism, but they sure like that old Fifth Amendment (with the obvious exception, of course, of that part about taking private property for public use--that's called "spreading the wealth around" because "there is no one in this country who got rich on their own").
Actually, it's looking more and more like someone at Solyndra didn't get rich on their own.
"We will get to the bottom of this," said the Rep. Cliff Stearns, the Florida republican who heads the Subcommittee.
But not before hearing more invocations of the Fifth Amendment, I'm thinking.