Sligh: Okay. But you're not at liberty to tell me what
the guidelines are?
O'Neill: No, I mean I have to do it based on what you tell
me, not me giving you the guidelines, unless you
wanted me to deviate.
J.A. at 501 (emphasis added).
Still, rather than take the agent's bait, Sligh simply replied, "Well,
you know, for, you know, if it's a matter, (Laughter) if it deviates, I
don't you know, I don't care, you know," id . -- an answer that
appears to reflect no more than Sligh's understandable indifference as
to whether, in his case, the IRS followed the technical guidelines,
which the agent refused even to explain to him, or made an exception
Obviously aware at this point that Sligh had no apparent intention
to offer a bribe and that she was having no success in steering him
toward the offer of a bribe, O'Neill then invited a bribe more explic-
itly by asking Sligh, in essence, "What's in it for me?":
O'Neill: But why would I take that risk?
Sligh: Cause you love me? (Laughter) You know, I
don't know. I mean, you know what --
O'Neill: I'd be risking my job.
Id. (emphasis added).
At this point, Sligh had still never suggested that O'Neill engage
in any sort of wrongdoing, much less suggested that he would offer
a bribe. Nevertheless, O'Neill continued to act as though Sligh had,
in fact, already suggested as much, and stated that what Sligh was
asking her to do "[wa]sn't really right." J.A. at 503. Despite O'Neill's
explicit recharacterization of Sligh's entirely appropriate request for