Former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder briefly appeared at a federal lawsuit in Ann Arbor on Thursday related to the Flint water crisis, telling the judge and attorneys that he will exercise his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination if summoned to appear. to give evidence.
The jury was not present at Snyder’s appearance in court.
“Based on the advice of counsel, I would exercise my Fifth Amendment rights,” Snyder told U.S. District Judge Judith Levy.
Snyder appeared midway through the presentation to jurors of his 2020 videotaped statement in the case, which took place before Snyder was charged with two offenses of willful dereliction of duty, in 2021.
Levy has ruled that, by testifying in a statement, Snyder has waived his Fifth Amendment rights, and attorneys for the parties to the lawsuit have further questions they would like to ask him at trial. Snyder has appealed Levy’s ruling to the US 6th Circuit Court of Appeals and that appeal is pending.
Technically, Snyder is “in contempt of court,” Levy said Thursday, outside of the jurors’ presence. But she said she didn’t find him contemptuous because of the pending appeal.
More: Jurors in Flint Water Trial Watch Snyder’s 2020 Video Testimony: What He Said
More: Former Governor Snyder Doesn’t Want To Testify In Flint Trial, Plans To Advocate Fifth
In the portion of Snyder’s statement shown to the jury on WednesdaySnyder testified that the state had addressed lead poisoning from Flint’s water months earlier if his office had been notified of lead problems that e-mails show officials discussed for a city contractor, Veolia Water North America Operating Services, in February 2015.
In the closing portion of Snyder’s impeachment testimony shown Thursday, he agreed that Veolia was a city contractor and that it would be normal to make reports and recommendations to the city, not the state or the governor.
Flint was under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager at the time.
Four plaintiffs who were children of Flint when the lead poisoning began in April 2014 are suing consultants who did work for the city of Flint over the city’s water supply. They are Veolia; Lockwood, Andrews and Newnam (LAN); and LAN’s parent company, Leo A. Daly Co.
A Tuesday’s Michigan Supreme Court ruling could lead to criminal charges against Snyder and other suspects in the Flint water crisis being dismissed.
The trial began in late February and will resume on Tuesday.
Contact Paul Egan: 517-372-8660 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @paulegan4† Read more about politics in Michigan and sign up for our newsletter elections†
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Former Governor Rick Snyder Calls For Fifth Amendment In Flint Water Lawsuit