"The American people are left to wonder what conduct is at the base of Ms. Goodling’s concern that she may incriminate herself in connection with criminal charges if she appears before the committee under oath," Leahy said.…In the declaration presented to the Senate committee and released by her attorneys today, Goodling, 33, says Schumer, Leahy and other lawmakers have already "drawn conclusions" about the U.S. attorney firings. As a result, Goodling says, she has decided to "invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege against self incrimination and decline to answer any and all questions from the committee or its staff."
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.
"The potential for legal jeopardy for Ms. Goodling from even her most truthful and accurate testimony under these circumstances is very real," said the lawyer, John Dowd.
"One need look no further than the recent circumstances and proceedings involving Lewis Libby," he said, a reference to the recent conviction of Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff in the CIA leak case.