Paul Ryan ‘Thankful for the 5th Amendment’

Paul Ryan and Kevin McCarthy

It appears that the media are not the only people having trouble keeping up with the endless onslaught of highly public controversies surrounding the Trump administration.  Speaker of the House Paul Ryan was caught speaking very candidly with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy in a rare open-mic moment on Capitol Hill this morning.

Multiple journalists took copious notes as Rep. McCarthy allegedly leaned toward Paul Ryan, asking, “Can you believe this Flynn stuff?”

Paul Ryan reportedly responded, “Yeah, and all I can say is ‘Hallelujah’.  I can’t tell you how much I am thankful for the 5th amendment right now.”  The Speaker was seemingly unaware that he was within earshot of eager reporters as he continued, “Because I’m starting to feel like an acrobat keeping up with all the crap the POTUS is bringing on us.  At least Flynn has a brain.  Or at least his lawyer does.”

Still oblivious to their audience, Rep. McCarthy replied, “I’d hate to be in your shoes, man.  It shouldn’t be this hard to cram a bill through with the majority we have right now.”

Paul Ryan allegedly smirked and stated, “Yeah well it’s a little hard to gain any traction when all my face-time with the media is spent explaining a 13 year-old’s Twitter addiction.”  It was at that point Paul Ryan seemed to notice he was being heard, because he followed that statement up with, “Which is why the American people deserve a thorough investigation into Michael Flynn and the President’s campaign.  Because we have to get back to fixing this Great Nation!”

Paul Ryan declined to comment to reporters as he and Rep. McCarthy continued to exit the capitol building.

Speaker Paul Ryan and Rep. McCarthy were presumably referring to the developments today about former General Michael Flynn invoking his 5th amendment rights to avoid having to testify before congress.  The 5th amendment of the Constitution defines America’s philosophy of due process.  When cited in this context, subjects of investigations are allowed to invoke this constitutional right to avoid giving testimony which may incriminate them.  While the Constitution does protect against self-incrimination, some see it as an implicit (although inadmissible) admission to criminal activity.

Paul Ryan’s conversation with McCarthy was almost certainly not intended for public dissemination, but it does offer some insight into the minds of some Republican leadership in Washington D.C.  Like most people, they too are growing fatigued by the constant battle of dancing around the President’s controversies.  One can only wonder how long Republicans at the capitol will be able to continue their solidarity with the President before fears of their own re-elections begin to take precedence.

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