Friday, May 19, 2017

What Did Mike Pence Know - and When Did He Know It?

With the survival of Der Trumpenführer reign looking increasingly questionable, the new question that is gaining attention is that of what did Mike Pence know and when did he know it.  Stated another way, could Pence be looking at impeachment or criminal charges too?  It looks increasingly likely that Pence lied - a common trait with evangelical/fundamentalist Christians something which Pence claims to be - when he said he knew nothing about Mike Flynn being the subject of an FBI investigations.  That question in turn raises the question of what else did Pence know about?  The many calls to Russia?  Flynn's payments from Russia and Turkey? The list gets longer and longer and one can only assume one of two things: (i) Pence is as biggest liar, or (ii) Pence is grossly incompetent if he did not know about some of the issues under investigation.  A piece at CNN looks at the growing difficulties facing Pence.  Here are excerpts:
Vice President Mike Pence is standing by a March statement that he first learned of now-fired national security adviser Michael Flynn's ties to Turkey from media reports, despite renewed scrutiny and revelations President Donald Trump's transition team was made aware far earlier.
"The vice president stands by his comments in March upon first hearing the news regarding General Flynn's ties to Turkey and fully supports the President's decision to ask for General Flynn's resignation," said an aide to Pence, who declined to be named. But questions about what Pence knew and when are swirling thanks to new media reports about what Flynn revealed to Trump's transition team, which Pence oversaw.
Flynn informed the Trump transition team more than two weeks before the inauguration that he was under federal investigation for his work as a lobbyist advocating for Turkish government interests, The New York Times reported Wednesday. But Pence didn't know, according to a senior administration official close to Pence. Despite reportedly informing the transition's chief lawyer Donald McGahn, now White House counsel, of the investigation's existence, Flynn still walked into the West Wing on January 20 as the President's top adviser on national security issues.
The question of what Pence knew and when first arose months earlier after reports surfaced that Flynn discussed sanctions with Russia's ambassador to Washington despite Pence's public claim to the contrary. It's also one that was posed after Pence stood before news cameras and claimed that Trump had fired FBI director James Comey because of a memo written by the deputy attorney general -- only for Trump to later reveal he planned to fire Comey regardless.
A senior administration official rebuffed CNN's question about whether or not Pence knew of the investigation into Flynn during the transition with a simple, "No." But Pence should have known. . . . . Pence had also received a letter in November from the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee Rep. Elijah Cummings describing Flynn's foreign work.
In a November 18 letter to Pence "to raise questions about the apparent conflicts of interest of the Vice Chairman of the Presidential Transition Team, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn," Cummings described Flynn's lobbying work and public advocacy aimed at benefiting the Turkish government as well as Flynn's RT-funded speech in Moscow in December 2015.

No comments: