Friday, June 16, 2017

As Russiagate Probe Expands, Mike Pence Hires A Lawyer

Christofascist zealot - and liar? - Mike Pence
As a crisis management seemingly engulfs the White House, Vice President Mike Pence who has claimed ignorance on virtually every issue even though he headed Der Trumpenführer transition team, has reportedly now hired his own private legal counsel.  To date, Pence's feigned ignorance has indicated that he either was utterly incompetent - e.g., he knew nothing of Trum BFF Mike Flynn's ties to Russia and foreign paymasters - or was lying.  Given the Christofascist belief that lying is fine so long as it furthers the Christofascists' agenda, my money is on lying as opposed to incompetence and pretend ignorance.   This is in complete accord with my experience of over 20 years where no one lies more often or more deceitfully that the godly right wing Christians.  As Pence is lawyering up, Der Trumpenführer continues to run his big mouth and ignores the reality that he has created the majority of his own problems.  Here are excerpts from the Washington Post
A heightened sense of unease gripped the White House on Thursday, as President Trump lashed out at reports that he’s under scrutiny over whether he obstructed justice, aides repeatedly deflected questions about the probe and Vice President Pence acknowledged hiring a private lawyer to handle fallout from investigations into Russian election meddling.
Pence’s decision to hire Richard Cullen, a Richmond-based lawyer who previously served as a U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia, came less than a month after Trump hired his own private lawyer.
The hiring of Cullen, whom an aide said Pence was paying for himself, was made public a day after The Washington Post reported that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is widening his investigation to examine whether the president attempted to obstruct justice.
A defiant Trump at multiple points Thursday expressed his frustration with reports about that development, tweeting that he is the subject of “the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history,” and one that he said is being led by “some very bad and conflicted people.”
Trump, who only a day earlier had called for a more civil tone in Washington after a shooting at a Republican congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Va., fired off several more tweets in the afternoon voicing disbelief that he was under scrutiny . . . .
Before the day ended, the White House was hit with the latest in a cascade of headlines relating to the Russian probe: a Post story reporting that Mueller is investigating the finances and business dealings of Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-law and adviser.
“The legal jeopardy increases by the day,” said one informal Trump adviser, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss conversations with White House aides more freely. “If you’re a White House staffer, you’re trying to do your best to keep your head low and do your job.”
At the White House on Thursday, aides sought to portray a sense of normalcy, staging an elaborate event to promote a Trump job-training initiative, while simultaneously going into lockdown mode regarding Mueller’s probe.
As Trump’s No. 2 and as head of the transition team, Pence has increasingly found himself drawn into the widening Russia investigation.
Pence — along with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Kushner, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and White House Counsel Donald McGahn — was one of the small group of senior advisers the president consulted as he mulled his decision to fire Comey, which is now a focus of Mueller’s investigation.
He also was entangled in the events leading up to the dismissal of Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, who originally [purportedly] misled Pence about his contact with Russian officials — incorrect claims that Pence himself then repeated publicly.
The vice president was [purportedly] kept in the dark for nearly two weeks about Flynn’s misstatements, before learning the truth in a Post report. Trump ultimately fired Flynn for misleading the vice president. 
There were also news reports that Flynn’s attorneys had alerted Trump’s transition team, which Pence led, that Flynn was under federal investigation for his secret ties to the Turkish government as a paid lobbyist — a claim the White House disputes. And aides to Pence, who was running the transition team, said the vice president was [supposedly] never informed of Flynn’s overseas work with Turkey, either.
In the meantime, the Republican National Committee appears to be girding for a fight.
“Talking points” sent Wednesday night to Trump allies provided a road map for trying to undercut the significance of the latest revelation related to possible obstruction of justice. . . . The RNC also encouraged Trump allies to decry the “inexcusable, outrageous and illegal” leaks on which it said the story was based and to argue that there is a double standard at work.
As noted before, Pence's claims of ignorance have about the same level of veracity as those of Sargent Schultz in the old TV show, "Hogan's Heroes"  No slight intended toward sex workers, but Trump, Pence and their sycophants make the tawdriest of whores look down right virtuous. And lest it be forgotten, 81% of evangelical Christians backed the Trump/Pence ticket. 

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