Skip to main content
CNN.com /TRANSCRIPTS
CNN TV
EDITIONS
SERVICES
CNN TV
EDITIONS


CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Ken Lay Asserts Fifth Amendment Protection

Aired February 12, 2002 - 10:47   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: We want to take you now to Washington. We want to go now to the Enron hearings, where we heard Ken Lay may not be speaking, but Fritz Hollings, the senator from Tennessee (sic), is speaking.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

SEN. FRITZ HOLLINGS (D), SOUTH CAROLINA: ... and nothing but the truth, so help you God.

KEN LAY, FORMER ENRON CHAIRMAN: I do.

HOLLINGS: Thank you.

Mr. Lay, do you have a statement for the committee?

LAY: A very brief statement, chairman.

Mr. Chairman, I come here today with a profound sadness about what has happened to Enron, its current and former employees, retirees, shareholders, and other stakeholders. I've also wanted to respond, to the best of my knowledge and recollection, to the questions you and your colleagues have about the collapse of Enron. I have, however, been instructed by my counsel not to testify, based on my Fifth Amendment constitutional rights.

I am deeply troubled about asserting these rights because it may be perceived by some I have something to hide. But after agonizing consideration, I cannot disregard my counsel's instruction. Therefore, I must respectfully decline to answer, on Fifth Amendment grounds all the questions of this committee and subcommittee and of those of any other congressional committee and subcommittee.

When providing their instructions, my counsel referred me to excerpt from a unanimous Supreme Court decision of less than a year ago: Quote, one of the Fifth Amendment's basic functions is to protect innocent men. I respectfully ask you not to draw negative inference because I am asserting Fifth Amendment constitutional protection on instruction of counsel.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

HOLLINGS: Well, under that circumstance, Mr. Lay, the committee excuses you, and I want to turn the investigation over to the chairman of our Consumer Subcommittee, Sen. Dorgan.

SEN. BYRON DORGAN (D), NORTH DAKOTA: Thank you, sir.

Mr. Chairman, thank you very much.

We have a series of three votes that will begin in about five minutes. I believe it would be best if the committee takes a brief recess. We will reconvene...

HARRIS: They have now announced that they are going to go into recess. And as you saw there, we have been waiting for it, and Ken Lay, as expected, did assert his Fifth Amendment right not to testify today. So he read a short statement. He didn't really say anything in the statement, but did ask that the senators not interpret his invoking the Fifth Amendment negatively.

And I also want to apologize to Sen. Hollings for identifying him as being from Tennessee -- South Carolina.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com


 
 
 
 


 Search   

Back to the top