plead the Fifth (Amendment)

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plead the Fifth (Amendment)

1. To refuse to testify against oneself in court, in accordance with the rights guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The alleged kingpin of the east coast drug cartel simply pled the Fifth after every question the prosecution put to him.
2. By extension, to refuse to answer a question or provide information, especially if doing so may incriminate or embarrass oneself. Just plead the Fifth if your mom asks where you've been all night! A: "So, I hear things got pretty messy at the bar last night." B: "Yeah, I'm going to have to plead the Fifth Amendment on that one!"
See also: fifth, plead
References in periodicals archive ?
In May, former IRS official Lois Lerner, who had been in charge of the efforts directed at such groups, pled the Fifth Amendment before Congress.
SAINTS boss Gus MacPherson and defender Jack Ross pled the Fifth Amendment when asked to discuss Steven Thomson's controversial red card.
14 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Legal and Policy Center, a union corruption watchdog group, has requested that the AFL-CIO's Executive Council, which meets February 15-17 in New Orleans, "advocate" the ouster of AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumka who has been deeply implicated in the Teamsters' money-laundering scandal and has pled the Fifth Amendment on at least two known occasions.