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Can "I DON'T RECALL" be considered perjury?

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BOSSHOG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-30-07 01:09 PM
Original message
Can "I DON'T RECALL" be considered perjury?
If, in future testimony, as Waxman is putting the heat on some staffer's ass, he blurts out that soandso was coached to say "I don't recall" to these questions?
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SteppingRazor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-30-07 01:11 PM
Response to Original message
1. In practice, no it can't.
You'd have to prove that the person in question did, in fact, remember the events in question at the time of questioning, which is pretty much impossible without stepping into their brain.
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BOSSHOG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-30-07 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. So we hire Hannibal Lector?
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SteppingRazor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-30-07 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Provided we supply him with fava beans and Chianti, of course
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BOSSHOG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-30-07 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. But
just for instance:

if in future testimony someone said sampson met with rove who told him to answer thusly to these specific questions regardless of whether you recall or not?

Maybe a stretch on my part but I want some lurking sampson to think a little harder before turning totally to the darkside.
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SteppingRazor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-30-07 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Wouldn't matter
Because you couldn't establish a causal relationship between the coaching and the answers.

In other words, despite the coaching, the witness in question may have genuinely forgotten the events in question. (I know, I know. Fat chance. But it's still a legitimate excuse in court.)
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jkshaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-30-07 01:16 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. ... without stepping into their brain.
Should be plenty of room in there, Razor! :evilgrin:
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hippiechick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-30-07 01:18 PM
Response to Original message
7. I'd think obstruction, if nothing else ...
:shrug:
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-30-07 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. that is what came to my mind, as well...
:hi:
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hippiechick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-30-07 01:26 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Salin
:hi:
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-30-07 02:01 PM
Response to Original message
10. Not perjury or obstruction. Contempt.
If the Committee asks the witness, "What is your name?", and the answer is, "I can't remember", that's Contempt of Congress, unless the witness is mentally disabled (I know, . . .). But, if the question allows for the possibility a person was genuinely unable to recall the particulars of a conversation months or years earlier, then there's a presumption that "I don't recall" might be an honest answer.

There's a grey area in between, of course, where a witness can be pressed to answer. But, in the end, "I don't recall" can't normally form a perjury charge.
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