What does “sue the fifth” mean? Does Trump do it?


New York (AP) —Donald Trump and two of his children — Donald Jr. and Ivanka — will face questions under an oath in a New York civil investigation into their business practices within a few days. increase. But does Trump answer?

Former president’s lawyer is showing He would advise Trump to remain a mother and exercise the Fifth Amendment’s protection against self-incrimination. Constitutional rights are the focus of attention in settings from Congress to crime shows on television, but there are subtle differences. This means “defending (or” taking “) the fifth,” and not.

What is the “fifth”?

Article 5 of the US Constitutional Amendment sets out many rights related to legal proceedings, such as “You must not be forced to be a witness to yourself in any criminal case.”

In the most direct sense, it means that the criminal defendant does not have to give terrible testimony in his case. But that also applies to non-criminal contexts.

What is the idea behind it?

“It reflects many of our basic values ​​and most noble aspirations,” the Supreme Court wrote in 1964.

Some of these ideals are to prevent people from being tortured and confessing, or falling into the “cruel trilemma of self-accusation, perjury, and contempt” of contempt of court.

Decades ago, the court also questioned the credibility of the confessions made under coercion.

The amendments specifically refer to criminal cases. How can it be applied to a civil investigation?

Over time, the protection of Article 5 of the Amendment to the Constitution has been understood to cover witnesses as well as defendants in criminal and civil courts and other government agencies. The Supreme Court even argues that the rights of Article 5 of the Constitutional Amendment protect the work of civil servants dismissed after refusing to testify in an investigation unless they are exempt from prosecution.

Article 5 of the Constitutional Amendment also supports celebrities Miranda warning About the right to remain silent and the right to have a lawyer while being cross-examined by police custody.

So are there any restrictions?

Under legal standards, witnesses must face the real risk of criminal prosecution, said Paul Cassel, a professor of criminal law at the University of Utah. This means prosecution in a US court.

There can be controversy over whether rights are being exercised improperly. The interrogator can ask the judge to declare that someone needs to answer or face the possibility of contempt of court and penalties.

However, “courts have generally believed that instead of forcing someone to testify and then learn, they should give suspicious benefits to someone who may be prosecuted for criminal charges.

all right. Some people make a fifth decision to answer some questions, but can’t they answer other questions?

Yes, it’s not always all or nothing. But even deciding to answer selectively can be dangerous. By answering one question, the other side can argue that the Witness cannot refuse to answer the other related questions. Another concern: A seemingly safe question could mean building evidence for a claim that is not yet on the witness’s radar.

HMMMM. If you call protection, does it work for you?

Legally, it’s different. In criminal cases, the prosecutor cannot comment on the refusal of the defendant’s testimony, and the jury cannot advise that the defendant’s silence may be seen as a sign of guilt. The Supreme Court said allowing the reasoning would impose penalties on the defendant simply by taking advantage of constitutional protection.

However, in civil proceedings, juries are usually allowed to remain silent against defendants or witnesses.

Next is the public opinion court.

“Does it look bad? The general public understands it,” says Renese Herbert, a professor of criminal law at Howard University. “But that’s just the result of poor civil education.”

Former federal prosecutors may want to hear the jury from the defendant, but make sure the jury understands that the jury has the right not to take the position of the client. It often reminds students that it is a lawyer’s job.

Can I go back to playing cards? He has been questioned in a civil investigation. Can he claim that he may be prosecuted for criminal charges?

In fact, his lawyer argues that the civil investigation of Attorney General of New York, Letitia James, is essentially a fact-finding mission for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s parallel criminal investigation.

James said her investigation found evidence that the company had inflated the value of real estate assets and robbed loans, insurance and tax incentives to donate land. Trump denied her claim and the Republicans accused her of investigating as a political “witch hunt” by Democratic authorities.

Meanwhile, due to other findings from James’ investigation, DA’s office has become Criminal tax evasion fee For a company called the Trump Organization that turned from a businessman to a politician and its chief financial officer. The defendant then pleaded not guilty. This includes claims for off-book compensation.

What does Team Trump say about this?

Trump’s lawyer, Ronald Fishetti, said, “because the law provides,” unless criminal immunity is granted for the former president’s next deposit (a term for pretrial cross-examination outside the court). 5 He said he would advise invoking the amendment. Still, he argued that the propaganda surrounding such choices could harm Trump’s defense in the event of future criminal accusations.

“In that case, how can I choose a jury?” Fisetti said he failed in trying to prevent the deposit.

Trump himself repeatedly suggested many years ago that protection would only be used by those who have something to hide.

“The mob takes the fifth,” he once declared.