During a recent appearance on MSNBC, Congressman Bennie Thompson, who serves as the head of the January 6th commission, proclaimed while speaking with Rachel Maddow that subpoenaed individuals who exercise their Fifth Amendment right are tacitly engaging in an admission of guilt when doing so.
“But if he’s saying ‘Okay, I’ll come, but I’ll plead the Fifth’ then in some instances that says you’re, part and parcel, guilty to what occurred.”
It seems as though Rep. Thompson in said segment was referring to Jeffrey Clark, a former Assistant Attorney General at the Justice Department under the Trump administration. Clark is expected to assert his Fifth Amendment right on December 4th while being deposed by the House Select Committee – a matter that seems to upset Rep. Thompson.
On the evening of December 1st, the House Select Committee approved to have contempt charges brought against Clark over his past ignoring of subpoenas seeking documents and refusing to answer questions and abruptly leaving during a November deposition before the same committee.
The head of the Jan 6 Committee says if you exercise your Constitutional rights you are a criminal
Are you paying attention yet? https://t.co/WAXuSARyOX
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) December 2, 2021
However, in a December 2nd press release, despite acknowledging that contempt charges were approved, the House Select Committee agreed to offer Clark “another chance” to be deposed.
Yet, in that same press release, Rep. Thompson noted that he’s aware of the incoming Fifth Amendment privileges that Clark will invoke, which, based upon his MSNBC appearance, leads him to believe that Clark is guilty of something.
“Mr. Clark previously had the opportunity to make Fifth Amendment assertions on the record and declined. But a Fifth Amendment privilege assertion is very significant. So the Select Committee has agreed to provide him another chance to come in and assert that privilege on a question-by-question basis, which he’s required to do by law if he’s making such a claim. He agreed to come in and we will reconvene the deposition Saturday.”
The notion that Rep. Thompson asserted, regarding that pleading the Fifth essentially means one is “guilty to what occurred,” was such a bad legal take that the video wound up getting shared by the Twitter account “Bad Legal Takes,” which is an account dedicated to mocking people who say some of the dumbest things when it comes to application of the law.