It’s obvious these days that freedom of speech and religion are under attack. As is the right to bear arms and to be secure in one’s property and privacy.
So, with the First, Second and Fourth Amendments to the Constitution in jeopardy, Rep. Adam Kinzinger is now gutting the Fifth Amendment regarding self-incrimination.
A member of Nancy Pelosi’s Jan. 6 committee, Kinzinger suggested that those involved in the Capitol incursion who invoke Fifth Amendment protection are, in effect, admitting guilt.
Or as he tweeted, “We respect the 5th amendment, but pleading the 5th says a lot.”
Quick reminder: pleading the 5th is because you don’t want to incriminate yourself. We respect the 5th amendment, but pleading the 5th says a lot
— Adam Kinzinger #fella (@AdamKinzinger) December 23, 2022
Translation: We don’t need no stinkin’ Fifth Amendment. Plead the Fifth and you’re guilty.
Such deliberate misrepresentation of a fundamental American right set Twitter afire with pushback.
Imagine being this clueless.
— Catturd (@catturd2) December 23, 2022
You’re not a lawyer. Sit down.
— Jack Lombardi II (@JackLombardi) December 23, 2022
I plead the fifth because I have no need to speak to the government.
They do not get a right to compel me to speak.
If you can’t make your case, it’s not my responsibility to help you.
— Ross Schumann (@RossSchumann) December 23, 2022
Everyone be sure to screenshot this for when he inevitably pleads the 5th in the future.
Also, everyone be sure never to answer questions from the government.
— Spike Cohen (@RealSpikeCohen) December 23, 2022
Pleading the 5th is because you don’t trust the government to not twist your words so they can arrest and blame someone, the 5th was put in place to protect us. You can not swear your oath to follow the constitution while taking your position
— Bull Johnson Constitutional Republic Party (@TravisBullJohn1) December 23, 2022
“If you exercise your rights you must be hiding something” is exactly the take I’d expect from you.
Always exercise the 5th. Everything you say can and will be twisted to suit their purposes.
— Uncultured Purrl (@AmericanPurrl) December 23, 2022
Quick reminder: it says nothing. So much so that prosecutors cannot impeach the indicted over it. Staying quiet, even when innocent, denies the government the ability to use “anything” said in a court of law. I’d expect a commissioned officer and elected to know. But you’re you.
— Maxwell Ramsey (@maxwell_ramsey) December 23, 2022
Actually pleading the fifth says nothing. You got a case, bring it. Let YOUR evidence do the talking.
— Jeremy (@tgwrh) December 23, 2022
In addition to outlining due process and prohibiting double jeopardy, the Fifth Amendment states, “No person … shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.
Courts can subpoena witnesses to testify against their will. But the Fifth Amendment means a defendant cannot under any circumstances be required to testify. It’s a protection against coercion through torture or prosecutorial trickery.
“The Fifth Amendment protects both the innocent and the guilty,” according to FindLaw.
“An innocent person could plead the fifth if they are innocent of the crime being investigated, but answering could lead to minor, unrelated criminal charges. An innocent person may plead the fifth if they know they are innocent, but the situation looks bad for them and answering will only arouse more suspicion.”
Also, “a prosecutor cannot argue to the jury that the defendant’s silence implies guilt,” according to the website of the MoloLamken law firm.
But Kinzinger doesn’t care.
Despite all the uncertainty about what actually happened on Jan. 6, 2021, he has all but said those pleading the Fifth are guilty of crimes.
So the chipping away at the First, Second, Fourth and Fifth Amendments continues.
At least no one is compromising the Third Amendment by quartering troops in our houses.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.