No, Mike Pence Is Not Going to Be Indicted

For a long time, I’ve pissed off the frothy anti-Trumpers because I insist there is nothing in the public record that suggests Mike Pence will be indicted as part of the Mueller investigation. Yes, it is true that Paul Manafort — who may yet get indicted six more times at the rate he’s going — installed him, but on top of being a Russian-backed sleaze, he’s also an expert on getting Republicans elected, and he was right that Trump needed someone with real Evangelical credentials and close ties to the Koch network to get elected. Yes, it is true that he got warnings that Flynn was an unregistered foreign agent, but as Vice President, he’s not the guy who decided Flynn would make a swell National Security Advisor. And as I’ve long argued, the fact that Mike Pence knowingly lied — if that’s what he did do — to hide that Mike Flynn had discussed sanctions with Sergei Kislyak is not an indictable offense, not even close to one.

Besides, Robert Mueller seems to believe he didn’t knowingly lie.

That’s what this passage from the Addendum laying out Flynn’s cooperation means.

Pence is, of course, the most obvious person who repeated the false story that Flynn had not discussed sanctions with Kislyak. But we don’t even have to know that to focus on Pence. That’s because the sentencing memo itself lays out how the progression from the David Ignatius column to Pence’s appearance on Face the Nation led up to Flynn’s FBI interview, according that progression and Pence’s role in it particular emphasis.

Days prior to the FBI’s interview of the defendant, the Washington Post had published a story alleging that he had spoken with Russia’s ambassador to the United States on December 29, 2016, the day the United States announced sanctions and other measures against Russia in response to that government’s actions intended to interfere with the 2016 election (collectively, “sanctions”). See David Ignatius, Why did Obama Dawdle on Russia’s hacking?, WASH. POST (Jan. 12, 2017). The Post story queried whether the defendant’s actions violated the Logan Act, which prohibits U.S. citizens from corresponding with a foreign government with the intent to influence the conduct of that foreign government regarding disputes with the United States. See 18 U.S.C. § 953. Subsequent to the publication of the Post article and prior to the defendant’s FBI interview, members of President-Elect Trump’s transition team publicly stated that they had spoken to the defendant, and that he denied speaking to the Russian ambassador about the sanctions. See, e.g., Face the Nation transcript January 15, 2017: Pence, Manchin, Gingrich, CBS NEWS (Jan. 15, 2017).

So the sentencing memo tells us that the progression from Ignatius to Pence was important, and one of the unredacted bits describing Flynn’s cooperation states that Flynn conveyed false information to several senior members of the transition team, which they publicly repeated.

And then the passage describing Flynn’s cooperation regarding transition events ends with three redacted lines.

I have, in the past, doubted that Flynn told Pence and Sean Spicer that sanctions didn’t come up. But Mueller seems to have no doubt.

So when Pence claimed on the teevee that Flynn did not talk sanctions with Kislyak, he believed — because that’s what Flynn told him — that Flynn did not talk sanctions with Kislyak.

Where things (especially those three redacted lines) get interesting is when you look at the story Trump’s lawyers told Mueller in the wake of Flynn’s plea deal in January in an attempt to spin a story McGahn wrote days after Flynn got fired into something that would still hold up almost a year later. Effectively, the original McGahn narrative invented reasons (which are inconsistent with Sally Yates’ version of events) why Trump didn’t fire Flynn right away on January 26, but instead — in a series of conversations memorialized by the then FBI Director — tried to convince Jim Comey to drop things. The original McGahn narrative further invented reasons why Flynn’s lies to Pence mattered on February 13 (when they were used as an excuse to fire Flynn in an attempt to kill the investigation) when they hadn’t mattered on January 26.

As I’ve laid out here, things got still worse when, on January 29, 2o18, they had to try to make that story fit Don McGahn’s testimony from fall 2017, Transition documents seized during the summer that Trump witnesses only belatedly realized Mueller had, and Flynn’s decision to cooperate in November. The most interesting of the glaring problems with the story, however, is this one:

The Trump letter didn’t address two of the questions asked about Flynn’s firing. In addition to remaining silent about what Trump really knew about what Flynn said to Pence, it doesn’t address Trump’s involvement in the transition period communications with Sergey Kislyak. That’s important because that’s the question that Flynn’s initial interview should have revealed. Contrary to what the letter claims, then, Flynn’s plea and Trump’s silence in the letter about the substance of the plea is proof not that Trump didn’t obstruct, but that Trump continues to refuse to explain why Flynn asked Kislyak to hold off on responding to sanctions, to say nothing of whether Flynn did so on his orders.

Remember: according to public reports, Trump refused to answer any questions pertaining to the transition period. Since January 8, 2018, Mueller’s team has been trying to get him to address his knowledge and involvement in (among other things):

  1. Former National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn — information regarding his contacts with Ambassador Kislyak about sanctions during the transition process;
  2. Lt. Gen. Flynn’s communications with Vice President Michael Pence regarding those contacts;

These, then, would be two of the questions Trump refused to answer by asserting Executive Privilege over issues from a period when he was not yet the Executive.

But then, Mueller probably doesn’t need Trump to answer questions to which the answer is almost certainly, “I ordered them.” As Flynn’s addendum on cooperation lays out, “the defendant’s decision to plead guilty and cooperate likely affected the decisions of related firsthand witnesses to be forthcoming with the SCO and cooperate,” which is (like the comment on Flynn’s lies to Pence) followed by several redacted lines, the last of the addendum. We know, for example, that one of the people that belatedly decided to unforget details she was a party to firsthand after Flynn flipped was KT McFarland, who would have conveyed Trump’s orders to Flynn.

In other words, with all the people who’ve followed Flynn’s lead and belatedly unforgotten what really happened, Mueller likely has abundant evidence both that Trump ordered both of these actions, and that his team kept inventing stories to try to explain away the aftermath.

As I disclosed in July, I provided information to the FBI on issues related to the Mueller investigation, so I’m going to include disclosure statements on Mueller investigation posts from here on out. I will include the disclosure whether or not the stuff I shared with the FBI pertains to the subject of the post. 

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140 replies
  1. Paul Semenza says:

    Do you think that the likelihood that Flynn lied to the FBI on his own, to protect himself, rather than the way Cohen, Manafort, Junior, etc. lied specifically to cover Trump had any impact on how this has played out?

      • Avattoir says:

        From Ye Olde Ministrye o’ Phunye Phakes…

        Did you know there’s a Wiktionary page on the word “semenza”?

        Turns out it means exactly whatever TF you think, whether derived narrowly thru rigorous etymology, or more colloquially.

  2. Rick Ryan says:

    What do you make of the fact that Pence hasn’t been interviewed by the Special Counsel yet (or at least, hadn’t been as of mid-September ’18)?

    I’m willing to believe Pence actually didn’t know anything about the skullduggery, in the same way that I’m willing to believe Barry Bonds didn’t know he was using steroids (BALCO: “Here’s some ‘flax seed oil'” *wink* BONDS: (to prosecutor) “They told me it was flax seed oil!”). But I just cannot believe the investigators wouldn’t want to hear it from his own mouth, and I guess it’s puzzling to me that Kushner has met with Mueller a few times, but Pence, whom I’d have thought was at about the same ‘level’ in terms of proximity to Trump (if not lower), apparently has not.

    • jf-fl says:

      Pence has said he isn’t sure smoking causes cancer, so if you’re expecting him to be cynical I think you’re vastly overestimating his capabilities.   He was picked for VP because of the few candidates who had no better option than associating with Trump, he was the most traditional.    A simple man in the most literal, most superficial way.    His college for example is known for being very Christian, not requiring national entrance exams, and accepting most who apply.   Woody Harleson said he went there because it was easy and religion-focused, and also that Pence was MUCH more religious than him.    Pence actually used to be a democrat and voted for carter, who Trump puts at top of his worst presidents lists. I’m sure he reminds Pence of that more than once (eg whenever he needs some pick-me-up groveling).

       

    • Peterr says:

      I’m not sure I buy that Pence has not talked to Mueller yet. Yes, I know that’s what he has said in various places, but I’m not convinced. I wonder if Pence is one of those Mueller was referring to when he put this in the addendum: “Additionally, the defendant’s decision to plead guilty and cooperate likely affected the decisions of related firsthand witnesses to be forthcoming and cooperate.”

      Between being head of the transition team and also VP, Pence would certainly qualify as a related firsthand witness to a lot of stuff at the highest level. That quote from the addendum was followed by two redacted lines, which I would guess includes an example of one such witness who was forthcoming — a witness that Mueller is not yet ready to reveal publicly, but can use to show the judge exactly HOW helpful Flynn has been. (Unless Ivanka or Jared is the example underneath those black lines, Flynn would be about the best example Mueller could hope for to demonstrate this to the court.)

      For a whole host of reasons – not the least of which would be the enormous political explosion — neither Pence nor Mueller would want his cooperation to be made public. At least not until the whole game is sprung.

      Then there’s this, that’s been rattling around my brain. Pence believes that God chose him to be VP because God intends for him to be POTUS. If Pence has come to believe that assisting Mueller bring down Trump is how God has planned for him to become president, that’s some additional powerful incentive to be forthcoming and cooperative. “I was just doing God’s will.”

      This is a Really Big WAG, with nothing specific to back it up, but it’s fun to imagine Pence sticking a knife in Trump’s back. It’s also fun to wonder if Trump has started to suspect Pence is not being loyal, and how that would really play with Trump’s head.

      • bmaz says:

        Well, we do not know for sure, but I buy it. It is a tactical decision and not a surprising one in the least.

        • Peterr says:

          Say more. IANAL, but as a tactical decision, I would think that Mueller would want to talk with the head of the transition earlier, rather than later — unless he thinks that the transition team head is up to his ears in illegality and thus is a potential target rather than witness.

          • bmaz says:

            No, you would marshal every bit of information you could before talking to a Constitutional officer such as a President or VP. I don’t think Mueller is particularly interested in Pence.

            • Peterr says:

              In the abstract, and assuming that the constitutional officer in question is a target, I’d agree. But we know that Mueller has been trying to talk to Trump for over a year, and finally managed to get at least some written replies to certain questions.

              Why, as a general matter of tactical strategy, would he wait *longer* to try to talk with Pence?

              • bmaz says:

                I gave you the best answer I have, and I will stick with it. Because  you want to know what the fuck the evidence is before you go talk to someone like that. That’s why.

                • earlofhuntingdon says:

                  Yep.  The sage advice – never ask a question in court you don’t already know the answer to – applies equally to interrogating senior political and corporate executives.  The consequences of a misstep are at least as hazardous in the latter context as the former.

      • Watson says:

        I agree that it’s reasonable to assume that Pence believes that God intends for him to be POTUS.
         
        Evangelicals believe that God installed the ungodly Trump as POTUS in an ingenious divine plan to rid the world of abortion. But it can likewise be argued that the supernatural actor behind Trump’s elevation was Satan, who cares not a fig about abortion, but who sees in Trump an instrument to provide corrupt and venal rewards for his satanic minions on earth.

        • Kathy says:

          Abortion is not the end all or be all with the Creator (hmmm, I just realized the massive irony of this sentence).  Reason is, I find it difficult to believe that the Creator cares less about the millions of children living: BELOW poverty and crying over and sleeping with hunger pangs daily, in squalor in refugee camps, trekking (in vain) thousands of miles to seek asylum, with being sexually, physically and emotionally abused by adults, with being preyed upon by evil drug dealers and most hurtful without the love and nurture needed for the human soul and heart to thrive, than the Creator does about the unborn child being aborted.  I believe that what is of highest concern to the Creator is how we assist those in NEED.

      • emptywheel says:

        I’ve also been wondering that. He certainly lawyered up and prepared to be interviewed. Remember that Dick Cheney had a second, undisclosed, counts-as-a-grand-jury-appearance interview with Fitz that was never known until his fictional autobiography. Mueller would have known that though, and might have chosen a similar arrangement (that is, an interview in Indiana).

        And I keep thinking about the timing and visibility of Pence’s Putin glare the other day, establishing distance between himself and Trump on this precise issue.

        • Peterr says:

          Note, too, this development:

          On Monday, Trump hosted a 2020 strategy meeting with a group of advisers. Among the topics discussed was whether Mike Pence should remain on the ticket, given the hurricane-force political headwinds Trump will face, as demonstrated by the midterms, a source briefed on the session told me. “They’re beginning to think about whether Mike Pence should be running again,” the source said, adding that the advisers presented Trump with new polling that shows Pence doesn’t expand Trump’s coalition. “He doesn’t detract from it, but he doesn’t add anything either,” the source said. Last month, The New York Times reported that Trump had been privately asking advisers if Pence could be trusted, and that outside advisers have been pushing Nikki Haley to replace Pence. One veteran of Trump’s 2016 campaign who’s still advising Trump told me the president hasn’t been focused enough on 2020. “What he needs to do is consider his team for 2020 and make sure it’s in place,” the adviser said. “He has to have people on his team that are loyal to his agenda.”

        • BobCon says:

          I would not be surprised if the lawyering up was the result of good legal advice that many people seem to be lacking. Mueller isn’t on a witch hunt, but there is simply no reason why they still shouldn’t be worried about some email or receipt somewhere coming back to bite them.

          Pence has an advantage, too, that a lot of these guys don’t — he has access to a lot of money for a strong legal defense team that doesn’t depend on staying in Trump’s good graces. He’s not stuck taking on Victoria Toensing.

        • CaliLawyer says:

          Pence’s quiet cooperation wouldn’t surprise me at all. I suspect his team is the one that puts out the toddler stories, to position himself as the “adult in the room” should Trump become radioactive at some point. They’ve also kept him at arms-length from the truly scandalous aspects of TrumpCo, although I don’t have any doubt he knew much of what was going on, without actually participating in it. The guy just oozes narc. I’m sure he shut down more than a few keggers back in the day.

            • CaliLawyer says:

              Why what? That he’d talk to Mueller? Why wouldn’t he? He can’t be fired, so doesn’t seem to have anything to lose by protecting himself. Why obstruct justice for no reason? He’s a career politician who likely wants a future in politics and Trump is transient. He can quietly through Trump under the bus with impunity. He was around before him and he wants to make sure he’s around after him, and he’s got a professional staff to take care of his reputation, unlike DJT. Why wouldn’t they distance him from this mess? Cooperating with the press is how you keep your reputation when the shit hits the fan. He’s an opportunistic weasel, not a fool.

              • bmaz says:

                Have you ever represented a potential grand jury target? Think about if you were and then get back to me.

                 

                • CaliLawyer says:

                  Being a potential grand jury target doesn’t preclude cooperation – look at Flynn. There just isn’t much of anything in the public record to indicate that he’s been anything but a passive observer, and one who was carefully absent when most of the most egregious activity went down. The transition would be the one possible exception that I recall, but Mueller has the documentation and both he and Mueller know exactly what went on then and what his exposure would be. And, oh yeah – he has a lawyer, who’s perfectly capable of managing any cooperation with Mueller. It’s always been a marriage of convenience between Pence and Trump. A conniving, self-righteous goody two-shoes like Pence isn’t somebody the grifters at TrumpCo would ever genuinely trust. Besides, the Mercers need him clean in case Trump goes down in flames. Last I checked being a passive observer wasn’t a crime. Get back to me when it is.

                  • bmaz says:

                    Are you serious?? If you are a GJ target and cooperate without an agreement (which was not the case with Flynn, they reached an agreement before he talked) you are a blithering idiot and your lawyer should be disbarred. They really are kind of mutually exclusive until you have a formal proffer understanding, and have it in writing. And I believe you have answered my question as to whether you are a criminal lawyer and have ever been involved in such a situation. And, by the way, yes there are certain crimes that you can actually be guilty of for being a passive observer. You might check the import of mandatory reporter situations as to sex crimes and abuse of minors, just for a starter. Do any of the known crimes in the Mueller probe fit that category? Likely not from what we know, unless you lie about it. But we don’t really know yet, do we?

      • Taxidermist says:

        It’s hard to imagine Pence talking to Mueller unless he was sure djt was going down. You only get one shot at the king.

      • bmaz says:

        The question is whether he has been interrogated, not whether he sent a lawyer over for a quick and routine chit chat to get a feel for posture as to his client.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Mike Pence is abundantly cynical.  That a supposed evangelical Christian is so supine in his support for the crude power-hungry lifelong unrepentant sinner that is Donald Trump would be Exhibit 1 in that argument.

      Pence slavishly supports Trump because he thinks it empowers Pence.  That he does so in the manner of a bowed wife to her domestic lord and master is a matter I’ll let the Freudians debate.

      Pence was a natural choice to curry favor with the Koch network.  But his fit with Trump is as much a function of Trump not considering him remotely a threat, which says a lot, considering how much of the world Trump does find a threat.

      • Peterr says:

        His fit in 2016 was also born of desperation. Trump couldn’t find anyone willing to speak from the podium at the RNC, so he made it a family affair.

        Their deal, made in the nether reaches of hell (see Dante for details), was that Pence would be supine and slavish in his public loyalty, and Trump would hand over every federal judicial (and perhaps most DOJ) appointments to Pence and his pals. So far, they’ve held to that deal.

        The key words being “so far.”

  3. JD12 says:

    Wasn’t Pence in some far away places on some key dates, like they were deliberately shielding him from the bad stuff? Either way I agree he was probably out of the loop and Manafort chose him simply because he thought it would get the most votes.

    Trump habitually tries to deceive people but sometimes he’s not that good at it. He was sensitive to his business being investigated and now look what’s happening there. Now he refuses to answer questions about the transition. If I were investigating I’d immediately start looking into the transition. And wasn’t he really angry when the GSA turned over the transition emails etc. to Mueller?

  4. Ardant says:

    Do we know who told Ignatius that Flynn lied to the FBI? Is it along the lines of the Plame betrayal ratio? Just passing by here…

  5. allison holland says:

    i keep reading and hearing that flynn lying to the fbi shows that there was something super sinister out there that needed to be hidden that made it worth lying when he knew he would be caught. but i think that he thought that comys hatred for the clintons rivaled his own. i think he thought comey would cover him. that comey would be loyal to trump.

    • Trip says:

      Except that Comey wouldn’t be the first and only person who would have intercepted/listened to a call like that. He’d have to imagine several steps along the way and Obama’s administration keeping quiet. And at that point, the FBI wasn’t advertising that it was doing an investigation on team Trump at all. That was kept on the down lo. Maybe he thought the call would be exempt from other ears since he was on the transition team, maybe it was sheer arrogance, stupidity, or maybe a part of him wanted to get caught.

  6. Rick Ryan says:

    @bmaz @ 10:46
    Of course, but strictly in terms of interviewing with the Special Counsel, I don’t understand why that would make much difference outside of logistics? (I am of course totally clueless about how these things work) I mean he’s publicly offered to be interviewed. Is there some legal or other issue that makes it more difficult?

    To be clear, I’m genuinely not trying to insinuate that you or EW are incorrect about any of this – I can think of strategic/political reasons why Mueller might hold off on the interview, mostly related to not wanting to piss off the GOP Senate – I’m just looking to understand the situation as best as I can.

    • Valley girl says:

      I used to be a moderator at FDL and using the word “cunt” in a comment would have gotten that comment removed from FDL.  Maybe you don’t realize that to call anyone a “cunt” is an insult that many if not most women find truly offensive.  So, fuck off.

      • Dave Karson says:

        My two cents is that I agree with Valley Girl.  Let’s keep this blog civil, respectful and dignified. Thanks! Dave Karson

          • Valley girl says:

            And, yes, I was Valley Girl/aka VG at FDL and all other places on the internet.  Time to bring back the capital G on EW.

            • Mary Margaret McCurnin says:

              I used to be a moderator at FDL, too. Recently, I have re-evaluated the “c” word. I quite like it now. It is used across the globe but only in the USA is it considered terrible. The sting needs to be taken out of it.

              • punaise says:

                Late to the party here.
                Far be it for male me to judge a woman’s decision to “own” the c-word, but I would never use it.  Ever. It’s right up there as one of the most offensive insults to women – when used by a man at least. 

                Others seem to have a less visceral reaction, but IMHO it has no place in civil discourse.
                 

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Thanks.  It’s the last great expletive among George Carlin’s seven dirty words.  Deservedly so.

        It’s connotation is not anatomical so much as it is intensely demeaning to half the race.  It is more foul and more personal than its male equivalent or fuck and its variants.  BJ isn’t even in the ballpark.  Even former sailor John McCain was publicly criticized for using it with his wife during his campaign.

      • G Holland says:

        Sigh.  It’s a commonly-used term in many parts of Great Britain, used almost interchangeably with “twat” and carrying about the same level of insult as “bitch” – which is to say, not very much insult. I am an American woman but I am puzzled by the words people choose to be offended by. There are so many; they mostly all refer to the same general body part or function; I don’t understand why one starting with “c” should be worse than one starting with “t” or “v” – especially when the POTUS himself is a self-described pussy grabber. In fact, I think “The Vagina Monologues” ought to be required reading/watching. There’s a monologue in them called “Reclaiming Cunt” that made me appreciate the word. I recommend Eve Ensler’s monologues to anyone.

        Anyway, insulting someone by using a word based on a body part or sexual function is just lazy. Save the use of “twat” et al. for descriptors. For insults, attack someone’s intelligence or integrity. (Unless you’re insulting DT, in which case such attacks would go right over his head, so just accuse him of being broke and having small hands and no friends. He wouldn’t care if you called him a cunt.)

  7. BccList says:

    Flynn admitted to lying to the FBI but did he tell the truth to Pence? If so, and if that transmission of information from Flynn to Pence is captured, Nancy Pelosi is about to become POTUS.

  8. oldoilfieldhand says:

    Thank you Marcy. You are amazing! Still, I have to get this off my chest.

    I know better than to argue with the lady of the house whose record on intuition and perception is second to none; but I’m not buying the “Mike Pence is as pure as the driven snow, or he’s too dumb to collude” line pushed by, among others, Pence himself. He’s a political opportunist who has confessed his belief that God chose him to rule, and like other people of his religious order, is quite capable of convincing himself of anything, (you can’t just believe, you have to have faith). But, the man has never expressed an original thought, ask Mother.

    Chosen (by God’s agent) for the VP position, he accepted it because even he could see that the glow of his miraculous political career was fading, and returning to an already crowded right wing talk radio career would be an admission that he did’t have the right stuff. Pence’s Christo-fascist doctrine was getting old and even Indiana was rejecting him, because he turned out to be bad for business FFS. Hoosiers are as resistant to change as “show me”, multiple times please, Missourians, but even they were ready to dump Pence.

    Enter Paul Manafort, who chose Pence for the VP slot over Trump’s heavyweight preference Chris Christie, not only because he was a documented true believer in the word, but because he was reliable; the money men knew he could be controlled. Controllable in the higher spheres of Evangelicalism means someone has the goods on on him and he is susceptible to blackmail. Although Christie is susceptible to blackmail, he’s reckless, prone to  off-the-cuff lapses into belligerence and irrational behavior, and the lap-band procedure didn’t take. Pence is a central casting VP, complete with the all-important Nancy gazing at Ronnie on cue appeal. Christie failed his audition when he couldn’t maintain an awe inspired and halo adorned admiration of the big man under the klieg lights. Pence has demonstrated again and again his ability to comfortably maintain a thousand yard stare in the spotlight because he is conditioned, not unlike Pavlov’s dogs, to retreat into the fantasy of presidential glory, imagining himself as Trump every time Hail to the Chief rings in his ears. Pence did not achieve comfort in middle age because he’s smart. He thinks its because he is the chosen one, but it’s because he can follow orders and knows when and how to play dumb…

    • Peterr says:

      Pence also had something going for him that Christie didn’t: he didn’t put Jared’s dad in prison.

      • Trip says:

        Yeah, there’s that, but also if it had been Christie, we would have had 2 Trumps: 2 NYC/Tri-state loudmouth bullies. I’m starting to come around on Marcy’s hypothesis that Pence was chosen for overall political advantage with the Christian right.

        • oldoilfieldhand says:

          Manafort is similar to Trump in that he plays either a zero sum game or a quid pro quo exchange, and the traditional role for the Republican VP is attack dog, not lap dog. Appeasing the Evangelical right wing of the GOP is a three card monty primary trick, hastily re-closeted for the general election. Hell, even Trump makes fun of Pence’s religious pretensions. So, what’s in it for Manafort when, as surely anticipated, Trump blows the whole thing up and Pence is no longer relegated to the kids table? Why is Trump so keen to dump Pence now that Manafort is compromised? If he needed him for the 2016 election and his base has shrunk to racists and cultists, wouldn’t CW make Mike essential for the 2020 contest?

          Sorry, I just don’t see any personal gain for Manafort in applying a salve solely to the open, pustulant sore of the GOP.

  9. Domye West says:

    It’s confusing to me that Pence WOULDNT have known. Was he firewalled? It seems like everyone else was in the loop on the Flynn/KT sanction talks, it’s weird that he wouldn’t be.

    Pence is an armpit of a human being, but I think he is fairly politically savvy. I could see him, from the beginning, thinking “bide my time, keep my nose clean from Trump’s nonsense, take over if/when he fails” like pence was going to do after Access Hollywood

  10. Andy says:

    We can dream can’t we? Hopefully somewhere in this clusterf*ck of an administration, Pence committed a crime which Mueller will elucidate for us. Pence is an awful person with despicable character.

  11. Willis Warren says:

    Flynn is only on the hook for things that Mueller knows about. For instance, Mueller isn’t going to ask him “tell us everything you know about the Russian plot”

    The cooperation is more specific than that, I’m sure. Questions like “did you discuss sanctions with Kislyak?” are starters, then more specific questions (the yes and no variety) are next. Flynn has good enough lawyers to know that he’d better answer truthfully.

    It’s entirely possible that Flynn knows more and could provide more information in the future. It’s also entirely possible that he was out of the loop on a lot of stuff. Pence would have been out of the loop on almost everything. He’s not going anywhere

    • BobCon says:

      I doubt Pence was out of the loop on almost everything, but I expect he was compartmentalized on a lot, and has deniability on a lot. He strikes me as the kind of executive who dodges direct responsibility for anything, all the way to deciding what kind of sandwich he gets for lunch, so that he can always blame someone else for problems.

      Having said that, I can believe he is guilty of something outside of the main conspiracy — pay to play or campaign finance violations are a couple that strike me as possible. He’s not the swiftest guy — he was caught using an AOL account to try to dodge regulations covering his state government email account. But it would probably take someone willing to drop a dime on him.

       

    • SomeGuyInMaine says:

      Flynn is being portrayed as the ideal cooperating witness. To me that means Mueller & Co. know everything and can document and corroborate much of it. There will be no surprises, zero, nil, nada, should Flynn be needed to testify later.

      As for Pence he strikes me as a guy who has developed a keen sense of when not to be curious. It has probably served him well and helps him keep his overactive righteous conscience in tact.

      He more an actively uninformed co-enabler, not an unindicted co-conspirator.

    • jonb says:

      great question.  Trump has attacked all those who have testified against his interests..Why nothing from him about Flynn?..any logical suggestions?

        • Tom says:

          Samuel Johnson once said: “Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier.”   I think that applies to Trump and partly explains his awe and deference towards military men.   Also, from what I’ve heard General Flynn’s former colleagues say about him on TV, he was an excellent combat commander and quite at home on the battlefield.   Trump probably knows that Flynn could kill him with his bare hands and so on one level is perhaps a little afraid of him.

          • Trip says:

            I don’t know about that. Even though he may not have tweeted insanely about Kelly, plenty of gossip about cutting him loose and being annoyed with him leaked out. Also, to the military aspect, the shit Trump said about McCain was beyond the pale. I heard some kind of talking head chatter on TV that Trump has the utmost respect for the military, which I consider absolute shite. And as long as Trump can surround himself with the king’s security, he’s not worried about harm. He’s a big man when surrounded by buffers, sheilds and henchmen. It has to be something else.

            • trype says:

              interesting history:

              On November 11, 2016, Christie was chairing a transition meeting, when, according to four sources, Flynn walked in with an ally, General Keith Kellogg. “Gentlemen, can I help you?” Christie asked. Ivanka Trump, who was a member of the transition team’s executive council, announced that she had invited them. Christie tried to reclaim control of the meeting, but Ivanka took over. Praising Flynn’s “amazing loyalty to my father,” she turned to him and asked, “General, what job do you want?” A participant at the meeting said, “It was like Princess Ivanka had laid the sword on Flynn’s shoulders and said, ‘Rise and go forth.’ ” (A source close to Ivanka didn’t deny the account, but said that it exaggerated her role, and that she was merely trying to show appreciation for Flynn’s support.)

              https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/10/23/the-danger-of-president-pence

          • Greenhouse says:

            So much for commemorating the fallen at Arlington on Veterans day or France for those from WWI, just to protect his beautiful boof. But he does love a parade, gotta give that to him.

      • Drew says:

        It may be that Trump is simply gone to ground, something that happens with psychopathic narcissists from time to time when the information becomes impossible to spin into the story of greatness & infallibility that they need to function. Unfortunately, that state is usually temporary & the narcissist comes back out in a rage.

        Some of the problem for Trump is that Flynn was his ideal kind of guy: a General, very macho & in line with the right-wing white supremacist inclinations of Trump and also capable of being a sycophant at time of need. This betrayal would take some time for Trump to digest, especially if he had been spinning a counter story in his mind about what was going on with Flynn & his plea.

  12. oldoilfieldhand says:

    O T / Trump’s buddy and public co-defender of Individual 1, Alan Dershowitz is likely going to find his social calendar on the Vineyard further constrained following the resurfacing of the Epstein whitewash. Will he be relegated to traveling to Martha’s summer hangout in disguise on the ferry to avoid the paparazzi in the airport, or will he succumb to shame and sell his house in the elite retreat to facilitate the purchase of one of the fire-sale condos in Trump Tower?

      • Trip says:

        He said he would have NEVER gone and used Jeffrey’s mansion if he had known that he was a pedophile back then: Sanctimoniously defending against subjecting his own kids/grandkids to something like that.
        Meanwhile he got the shady deal for Epstein which foisted him back into the real world to potentially prey on other children (who are not Dershowitz’s grandkids), having dug up dirt on all of the victims, plus the prosecutors. Was he only being good counsel, fighting for the best for his client? Maybe you could say that. But knowing all that he knows about Epstein, he is STILL Epstein’s attorney. Claiming that you have to remain someone’s attorney forever, which is a Trump-level lie.

        That says something entirely different about Dershowitz.

        Previously bro-gushing, in 2011:

        Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz says, “I’m on my 20th book…. The only person outside of my immediate family that I send drafts to is Jeffrey.”…Both Nowak and Dershowitz were thrilled to find themselves shaking the hand of a man named “Andrew” in Epstein’s house. “Andrew” turned out to be Prince Andrew, who subsequently arranged to sit in the back of Dershowitz’s law class….Alan Dershowitz says that, as he was getting to know Epstein, his wife asked him if he would still be close to him if Epstein suddenly filed for bankruptcy. Dershowitz says he replied, “Absolutely. I would be as interested in him as a friend if we had hamburgers on the boardwalk in Coney Island and talked about his ideas.” https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2003/03/jeffrey-epstein-200303

        “Friend”

          • Trip says:

            I remember reading this. Dershowitz equates Zionism with Judaism. So if you speak out against Zionism, you are automatically anti-Semitic. One is political, the other religious belief. He has been fighting, along with pal Bibi, to feign speaking for “all Jews”, while American Jews are considerably more liberal than in Israel, and Bibi has entered into a hard right apartheid there. It’s ironic how Netanyahu has actually aligned with hard right fascists, white supremacists and neo-Nazis around the globe, even using anti-Semitic memes/messages against Soros toward his end. But that’s a whole ‘nother thing.

            • NorskieFlamethrower says:

              “It’s ironic how Netanyahu has actually aligned with hard right faiscists, white supremacists and neo-Nazis around the globe…”

              Irony is God’s biggest joke on us.

               

               

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          With all due respect for naval aviator and captain of small naval ships Prince Andrew – as a senior royal, he would rarely be unprotected and on his own – sitting in the back of Dershowitz’s law school class is about all that he could do with it.

  13. SomeGuyInMaine says:

    Two Things On Pence

    1. It is interesting to me that Pence by and large has not been part of the defense of Trump and Crew in the media since the blow up defending the Comey firing in May, coming just 3 months after the embarrassment with Flynn. Since then he’s been absent and/or mute. This seems absence seems very intentional on his part and fits with the questioning of loyalty rumblings. From May onward and perhaps before too it seems to me Pence knows little on purpose.

    2. I cannot imagine that Pence has talked to Mueller, because if he did, it would seem to undermine all of Trump’s arguments of privilege not to sit for an interview. I do wonder if Pence has submitted any written answers to questions however. Could that have happened without it becoming public?

      • BobCon says:

        I’m curious if he’s been included in serious document requests since he’s been in office.

        My guess is that the extensive volume of documents Mueller got from the transition team probably gave Mueller a pretty good sense of how valuable Pence would be as a direct target of the investigation of that piece of the puzzle. Gates interviews probably helped with that too.

        As far as the campaign, I’m guessing that Bannon, Gates and Cohen would probably be pretty forthcoming about any Pence role in the conspiracy, if there was one. I can’t see any reason why those guys would protect him, they way they might be a little more cautious about implicating Trump’s family or business.

  14. Jenny says:

    Thanks Marcy; however highly skeptical of Pence. He led the transition team after Christie was removed with issues in the tissues. Difficult to believe Pence did not know about the Russia scandals having approved Flynn as a team player to obtain classified information.

    Pence’s part in this play is to pretend he knows nothing. Like a butler who is there to the side serving – sees and hears all; however stays silent. At this point, anything is possible.

    • Trip says:

      Cummings received a receipt for the letter he sent and that the letter would be reviewed carefully, or some such thing. But I don’t know if that is a boilerplate response letter and I don’t think we know who actually sent it to him.

  15. RWood says:

    Let’s not forget the rather large influence the Koch’s have on Pence. David Koch’s largest personal campaign contributions went to him and in return he was a big proponent of their No Climate Tax pledge.

    Even Bannon said it: “I’m concerned he’d be a President that the Kochs would own.”. And Sen. Whitehouse echoed that: “If Pence were to become President for any reason, the government would be run by the Koch brothers — period. He’s been their tool for years.”

    If Drump gets axed the Kochs would be happy as hell. He’s their little anti-government, anti-tax, anti-environment poster boy.

  16. Belacqua says:

    For a number of reasons–not least the tenacity with which the administration clung to this particular thread of the story–I think it’s perfectly plausible that Flynn did lie to Pence about his conversations with Kislyak. (Though it’s worth noting, and taking with a very large grain of salt, that Flynn, Jr., insisted this April that “American Patriot @GenFlynn did not lie to Pence (or anyone else in the admin) about his perfectly legal and appropriate conversations w Russian AMB Kislyak in Dec 2016.”)

    But I’m puzzled by the line in Mueller’s Addendum that Marcy highlights above: “Several senior members of the transition team publicly repeated false information conveyed to them by the defendant about communications between him and the Russian ambassador” (emphasis added). If that line applied only to Pence, and if Pence were indeed lied to, then the part I’ve put in italics would make plenty of sense. But I just don’t see how it can apply to any of the other senior members of the transition, who, I assume, must refer at least to Priebus and Spicer.

    Consider how much we know about the events of Dec. 29, the day Flynn spoke to Kislyak. Most obviously, there was the McFarland email about the call that Bossert forwarded to Spicer, Priebus, Bannon, and others (possibly Kushner or Miller). We also know that Spicer, that morning, announced that a homeland-security phone call was scheduled for 5pm that day. Per the NYT, that call was supposed to include Trump, Flynn, McFarland, Priebus, and Bannon, and possibly others. Whether that phone call took place has never (as far as I know) been confirmed. But a strong suggestion that it did was a CNN video from around 5:50pm that caught Trump, McFarland, Priebus, Bannon, and Miller–everyone you’d expect to be on the call with Flynn (who was in the D.R.)–walking together into a ballroom at Mar-a-Lago. (Kushner may have been on the call, too; he was in Hawaii at the time.) Further circumstantial evidence that the meeting took place can be found in the fact that Trump released his statement on Obama’s sanctions (“It’s time for our country to move on…”) right after 6pm. Recall, too, that Russia warned of a harsh response to the sanctions right in the middle of when the meeting happened: at 5:27pm Florida time, Peskov said “Russia’s adequate and mirror response” would make the US uncomfortable. Ten minutes later, Lavrov announced countermeasures.

    If I’m right about the meeting, then what you have is this progression: the sanctions executive order went into effect at noon on the 29th. (Obama signed the EO establishing the sanctions the night before, and pointedly did not tell Trump about during their phone call the next morning.) The Trump team found out about it when McDonough called Priebus after the announcement. McFarland emailed Bossert saying that Flynn would be speaking with Kislyak that day. Bossert forwarded the email to senior staff. McFarland coached Flynn on what to say to Kislyak and debriefed him afterward. At 5pm the senior staff met at Mar-a-Lago, calling at least Flynn and possibly Kushner. Presumably McFarland and Flynn told the group about the calls to Kislyak, because the result is a ~6pm statement suggesting that it was time for the U.S. to move on.

    If all that is true, then you have at least six people, including Spicer and Priebus, who knew exactly what went down with Kislyak. As I say above, I find it perfectly plausible that Pence would have been kept out of this loop, for all sorts of reasons. But I don’t understand why Mueller would suggest that Trump’s senior staff relied on what Flynn told them in January. They were there! They knew exactly what went down. (For similar reasons, I’m puzzled at the role Priebus supposedly took in the investigation of Flynn later that spring.) In a very literal sense I suppose it’s possible that Mueller means they merely conveyed Flynn’s lie, while not crediting it themselves, but that sure seems to bump right up against a misleading implication.

    What am I missing?

    • bp says:

      “Several senior members of the transition team publicly repeated false information conveyed to them by the defendant about communications between him and the Russian ambassador”

      I think the key is in the verb choice here. Conveyed conveys (sorry) a possible syncing of stories around what Flynn had said in his initial FBI interview. He wasn’t informing these senior transition members — who as you point out were all, sans maybe Pence (if included), likely aware of the details of the Kislyak call — of anything more than what now by necessity had to be their operational cover story going forward.

      • Belacqua says:

        Yes, that’s the literalist interpretation I mentioned at the end there–conveying without crediting.

        But I take it Marcy doesn’t read it that way, from this: “Robert Mueller seems to believe [Pence] didn’t knowingly lie. That’s what this passage from the Addendum laying out Flynn’s cooperation means.”

        I think she’s right, but if it’s true of Pence, then, given the plural in Mueller’s passage, must it not be true of at least one other person? Who would that be, if not Spicer or Priebus?

        • bp says:

          I don’t think Marcy’s wrong necessarily (I know better than to be so confident), though I think the inference she makes (that Mueller thinks Flynn lied to Pence) isn’t the only read of the memo’s language. To me, the actual language remains notably evasive on the substance of conversations between Flynn and the multiple transition officials who offered false public description of his Kislyak communications, and instead only refers to the characterization of those conversations by said parties.

  17. oldoilfieldhand says:

    Trump has to have something on Pence, otherwise the Presindebt would be resigned (see what I did there) to hoping that Pence will pardon him… unless he confesses…. With that cover, Pence could claim that Jesus forgiving the sins of the thief on the cross for admitting his guilt is a Christian precedent and pardon Trump and his family for all crimes against the US. Win-Win-Win, until reality surfaces in 2020, but regardless, God would have fulfilled his plan for Mike Pence and Mother will have Secret Service protection for the rest of her days.

    That’s it. I’m signing off until my prophecies are fulfilled.

  18. Rusharuse says:

    Under President Pence: Pantheists will be put to the lions. Gulp!

    Stab in the dark – Pence fighting grand jury subpoena?

     

  19. Trip says:

    Last thing: That Trump didn’t soil his pants or hurl his binky in a tantrum during a funeral doesn’t make him suddenly presidential, thoughtful, respectful or whatever other noble thing journalists ascribe to him.

    Also, I did feel empathy/sympathy for Dubya’s loss during his speech. Clearly he loved his father. (Although I can’t call myself a fan of either, it’s impossible not to feel the humanity of that moment)

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Has anyone asked what candy the WH doc prescribed for Toddler Trump (Ritalin, cannabis-infused cola?) to get him through the excruciating experience of spending an hour listening to the world’s Great and Good speaking lovingly about someone else?

      That Mr. Trump managed to do that does not make him eligible to receive the Medal of Honor.  It means he’s not a competent adult, only one rich and coddled enough to be guided through his adult toddlership.

      • Trip says:

        @earl, I think it’s simpler than that. The Bush funeral suited Trump’s current mood, feeling dejected and depressed because of his own potential impending doom (from investigations). He looked appropriate because he was likely sad…for himself. Maybe…just maybe he empathized slightly with Dubya because both had fathers who gave them the golden ticket.

  20. Greenhouse says:

    Why they’re eulogizing mr. david cop a feel (among other things – iraq, iran-contra pardons, you name it) is beyond me. Those were the days my friend, you thought maybe they might just end… that was no dream.

  21. Trip says:

    The Associated Press‏Verified account @AP

    BREAKING: Ecuador’s president says Britain has provided sufficient guarantees for Julian Assange to leave his government’s embassy in London, where the WikiLeaks founder has been living under asylum since 2012.

    https://twitter.com/AP/status/1070709114576220160

    “The road is clear for Mr. Assange to take the decision to leave,” Moreno said, referring to written assurances he said he had received from Britain.

  22. Trip says:

    Marcy retweeted this:

    Ben Smith‏Verified account @BuzzFeedBen

    This is a big, strange story: A Mysterious Imposter Account Was Used On Facebook To Drum Up Support For The Migrant Caravan

    https://twitter.com/BuzzFeedBen/status/1070746078616698881

    The Democrats should not engage in negotiations for a wall, at all, until they can find out who manipulated the swell of immigrants from a fake account. The aim, obviously, was to help Trump stir up hysteria and fear mongering before the midterms by increasing migrant participants.

  23. Skip.in.Tampa says:

    Hello,

    I stumbled upon this site several days ago. I’ve read most of the current postings that E.W. has up. Delighted to find such clarity in speculation. I’m mostly an observer of what the ‘Religious Right’ is up to and trying to extrapolate from that ,Mentat fashion, what moves come next. And ground-zero for the ‘R-R’ is the Heritage Foundation.

    Of all the dangers I’ve witnessed, in my 45 years, to the U.S. Govmt and, by extension, our collective and secular democracy, none poses a bigger threat than the machinations of the Heritage Foundation. I remain firmly convinced these people mean to burn down the world on the off chance of getting their Jebus to come back. Many of the moves made by the current admin were birthed by the H.F.. Example: Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem. That is nothing Trump would have done on his own hook; indeed, the Cretin-in-Chief could care less if the Embassy were at the South Pole. (think Jeff Jeffries & Jim Hagee and all the rest of those End Times and Seven Mountain bunch) Example: John Bolton’s apptmt.. These decisions and more were nothing more (or less!) than a return payment-in-kind to the H.F. for their oh-so-necessary help in the ’16 elections; As so, many of the people who were newly put into govt positions by this admin, were closely or directly involved with the H.F.

    For your edification;                                                                                                                                                    https://www.npr.org/2016/06/21/483018976/inside-trumps-closed-door-meeting-held-to-reassures-the-evangelicals                                                                                                                                         and,                                                                                                                                                                                      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/20/magazine/trump-government-heritage-foundation-think-tank.html

    o.k. then; how does the foregoing relate to this Pence post?

    A President Pence would be the spear in the hand of the H.F. and wielded freely. No, of the choice between the two, Trump and Pence, I think while Trump is an ongoing bad act for the US, Pence would be all the more worse for life on this planet. He is, and would prove to be, an unmitigated disaster now waiting in the wings.

    I can’t see the H.F. sitting idly by to see that Nancy Pelosi advances to the Vice Presidency which, if I’m wrong in my prognostication, I’m pretty certain will happen in the next six months, m.o.l..

    This is my take on what’s going to go down between now and, most importantly, before the new lot of gits are sworn in.*                                                                                                                                                         1. Trump resigns. He didn’t really want the job anyhow or for very long anyway. Look how much his personal health has deteriorated since he took the Oath.                                                                                  2. Pence pardons Trump for any crimes committed only while in office. This move would get Pence off the partisan hook in many ways.                                                                                                                 3. The current House Speaker, a Republican, moves to the V-P chair. No! No! Nancynett!.

    With Pence in the hot seat, I think the world moves a long step closer toward a thermonuclear exchange.

     

    *I didn’t give this more than a 4% chance prior to the mid-terms. Now…….. 50/50.

    p.s. really like the font you chose for your site. The #’s are very close to me own handwriting. Cheers.

     

     

    • JD12 says:

      I think if they find the right combination both of shielding Trump from consequences and compensating him, they could ultimately convince him to resign. And the current House Speaker would be involved in their succession plans. But if it happened before next Congress, Pence could only run once for reelection, whereas waiting would make him eligible to run twice and potentially be in office for upwards of 10 years (it’s a long shot, but they’re probably more optimistic about their chances than the rest of us).

      Although if Trump has his usual luck he’ll extract money from them for bowing out letting Pence have the 2020 ticket, which neither are likely to win anyway, then pardon himself on the way out the door.

  24. earlofhuntingdon says:

    From the Guardian today (internal links removed, see original):

    Among the first analysts to see a canny purposefulness in Mueller’s use of a “speaking indictment,” as it is known, was Marcy Wheeler, a journalist who writes about national security issues and civil liberties on her web site emptywheel….

    Wheeler has separately noted that Watergate precedent affords a path for a Mueller report to make its way to the House judiciary committee, even if Mueller were fired.

    Nice to see the respect meter going up: “Journalist” not blogger, her “web site” not blog, at which one can read analysis and commentary “about national security issues and civil liberties.”

    The article cites growing support for her “speaking through indictments” prediction from the legal community, including respected defense counsel Ken White (popehat).  And as for what Mueller’s overall plans are for responding to moves from Toddler Trump,

    Whatever Mueller’s plan, the overwhelming sense is that he has one – if simply to work and follow the investigation wherever it leads and despite what obstacles – or tweets – might be put in his way.

    Or, as lawyer and former FBI agent Asha Rangappa put it after Trump installed Whitaker: “Mueller has this whole thing booby trapped for precisely these kinds of Mickey Mouse moves by POTUS.”

  25. obsessed says:

    Off topic-ish and IANAL (duh), but it sure looks like Alito, Kagan and Kavanaugh are disinclined to nuke the separation of federal and state prosecutions in Gamble. Have we considered that Manafort is just nuts?

    • bp says:

      I think it’s more likely a well-earned experiential arrogance than insanity per se. That said, given his client list for the past thirty years, the personal/familial/etc. danger represented by a commitment to FULL cooperation ought not be underestimated.

        • bp says:

          Ha, sorry. I think the most likely reason Manafort stopped cooperating is fear over ramifications to himself or his family represented by FULL cooperation in all DOJ investigations relating to his career length client list. Based on where and how he’s worked, he necessarily knows some things about some people you don’t want to be on the bad side of. If, however, this wasn’t the reason he stopped cooperating, I’d tend to think it’s the accrued arrogance of a career length criminal (who’s never yet been held accountable) moreso than simply ‘being nuts’.

          • bmaz says:

            Thanks. Then if that is so, how in the world do you explain his original reticence, and then sudden willingness to plead to everything in the world.

            These are incompatible positions under your paradigm.

            • bp says:

              I don’t think we can know what level of enthusiasm Mueller views Manafort to’ve initially entered into cooperation with until at earliest (hopefully!) tomorrow, but it’s a good question. By my read, there’s only two general possibilities: that his supposed cooperation was merely as fact-finding mission for Trump, likely in exchange for a pardon (which I’d like to hope his lawyer’d have vetoed), or that he entered into cooperation in good faith (though under his own reality-based circumstantial duress), but that something that came up during the period of his cooperation led him to renege on his responsibilities.

              • bmaz says:

                So you are saying that Manafort’s entire entry of the comprehensive plea, and allocution to it in open court on the record was a complete fraud and perjury? Because that is what saying it was a fact finding ploy would entail. And if it was, and Downing was in on it, he has some serious bar problems ahead of him. Much more likely the latter of your two options. That said, you are absolutely right that the Manafort flip flopping on his plea is truly a bizarre situation.

                • bp says:

                  Yeah, I don’t view the first option as likely either (given all the reasons you detail), I’ve merely seen it suggested by others as possible explanation for Manafort’s behavior, and as I outlined it’s one of only two general explanations that makes any sort of sense. As I’d argued above, I think the second option is much more likely, and that the post-cooperation event that changed Manafort’s mind was liable to’ve been either Mueller/DOJs enthusiasm on cases not specifically related to Trump but implicating his previous clientele, or some manner of (horse-headed) “reaching out” by that clientele to dissuade him from cooperating.

  26. Rusharuse says:

    Harbinger?

    Tucker Carlson blasts Trump . . . What!

    “His chief promises were that he would build the wall, defund Planned Parenthood and repeal Obamacare, and he hasn’t done any of those things,” Carlson said, adding that those goals were probably lost causes. Trump, he said, doesn’t understand the system and his own agencies don’t support him.
    “He knows very little about the legislative process, hasn’t learned anything, hasn’t surrounded himself with people that can get it done, hasn’t done all the things you need to do, so it’s mostly his fault that he hasn’t achieved those things,”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/12/06/hes-not-capable-trump-has-achieved-nothing-tucker-carlson-says/

      • BobCon says:

        I wouldn’t be surprised if McConnell and Murdoch have plans, but I think only in his dreams is Carlson important enough to be part of them yet.

        Carlson is probably just being his usual weaselly self, thinking he smells blood when he’s just bitten his own lip. I think when McConnell and Murdoch turn on Trump, it’s not going to be subtle or slow.

    • Bobby Gladd says:

      ‘Tucker Carlson set straight any misinformation concerning his views on President Trump: “I don’t think he’s capable,”…’

      Rich, coming from him.

      In any event Trump never wanted to be the President, he merely wanted to acquire the title and then plunder it..

      • P J Evans says:

        Himself apparently was expecting to lose, then use all the publicity for new media ventures for his own profit.

    • JD12 says:

      Some of it is his fault. He started off like he thought Congress members were his employees.

      And if he didn’t treat McCain like shit he probably could’ve talked McCain into voting for the repeal. Also Schumer had wall money on the table before Trump backed out of the immigration deal.

      Hopefully Trump sees the GHWB memorials and thinks everyone will admire him even if he doesn’t serve the full 8 years. He can blame what he didn’t get done on Mueller and his Angry Democrats.

      • P J Evans says:

        Schumer [ptui] is still willing to fund that f*cking wall. It’s not going to fly in the House for the next two years, so he seems to think it’s fine – but he really shouldn’t be supporting anything like that.

  27. Taxidermist says:

    OT question: I seem to recall reading about someone on djt’s team booking expensive military planes to shuttle between meetings because they needed to make phone calls that couldn’t be made elsewhere, including their office or the WH. Does anyone remember that (or did I make it up)?

    Also, was Mueller able to keep and use the the data from the transition devices?

    Thanks!!

  28. Avattoir says:

    Lyin’ an’ leakin’ / Indictin’, conflicted
    Frettin’ each night on his schemes
    That won’t get him out of your dreams
    So if you’re lookin’ for this probe to end
    Start by droppin’ that shit about golf fees
    An’ act like you’re his friend.
    You gotta put down / That junkfood lid
    An’ say out loud / What he knows you did
    Forget your fussin’ / An’ your hair’s on fire
    Cuz what you’re doin’ / Just makes you a liar
    Tweetin’, complainin’ / Fumin’, not explainin’
    Repostin’ ad nauseum that he’s
    Lyin’ an’ leakin’ / Indictin’, conflicted
    An’ frettin’ each night / Like it’s sport
    Won’t stop him / Filing his report
    So if you’re thinkin’ now / How to end this mess?
    All you gotta do is
    Call him an’ give in / An’ fully confess
    Yeah, just do it
    An’ after you do / You will be his

  29. Mary Ann says:

    Don’t know how I got here, but just the idea of Pence and Trump both going down after the new congress is seated, wow- makes me have hope.

    Heard a good one yesterday:

    If Trump really wanted Hillary locked up, he should have put her on his campaign staff.

  30. Fran of the North says:

    In response to oldoilfieldhand’s comments above re ‘Mother’:

    Just in, video of the veep after a hard night of staring into the abyss & asking Mother “What are my Chances?”

Comments are closed.