On paper, pleading the Fifth Amendment is a wonderful strategy: Just keep your mouth shut and we'll deal with this later. That's the legal advice Solyndra's top executives adhered to at the House Oversight Subcommittee this morning. But in practice, the legal tactic is an invitation to relentless badgering and humiliation. And House Republicans were in rare form. Taken individually, reports about this morning's hearing show nothing really happened. But if you tease out quotes from the individual lawmakers, you can see it was a bare-knuckle shame-fest. Here's what happened when Solyndra CEO Brian Harrison said he would "respectfully decline to answer any questions."
Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) The Washington Post reports: “The taxpayers deserve answers and they deserve their money back.”
Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) ABC News reports: "I want to ask Mr. Harrison if he thinks the American people who invested over a half a billion dollars deserve to know what happened to that money? I don't understand what's self-incriminating about a yes or no answer to whether the American people deserve to know what happened to over a half a billion dollars of their money."