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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Did Mike Pence create a PAC simply to pay his lawyer?

If you live long enough you see just about anything happen. But even IR never thought we would see the day that Mike Pence would hire a lawyer from the firm that employs former Indiana Governor and Senator Evan Bayh. Apparently the shock of being dumped by Congressman Jim Banks and being replaced by Bobby Knight has shattered Pence's already fragile mind! The Washington Post revealed that Mike Pence has hired Richard Cullen of McGuireWoods to represent him in regards to possible investigation by congress and special prosecutor Robert Mueller into possible collusion between the Trump White House and the Russian Government involving the 2016 presidential election. Several Indy Republican readers alerted us to this story. There are a few interesting questions that pop up during an examination of the circumstances surrounding Pence's hiring of Mr. Cullen. We will ask our questions. First let's layout what facts we have so far.

Ashley Parker writing for the Washington Post on June 15, 2017 reported here on Pence's hiring of Cullen by citing his office making the following statement: 

“I can confirm that the Vice President has retained Richard Cullen of McGuireWoods to assist him in responding to inquiries by the special counsel,” said Jarrod Agen, a Pence spokesman, in an emailed statement. “The Vice President is focused entirely on his duties and promoting the President’s agenda and looks forward to a swift conclusion of this matter.” 
Cullen will not be paid with taxpayer money, an aide said. Cullen referred questions to the vice president’s office.
The process of hiring a lawyer took several weeks and included interviews with several candidates, a Pence aide said. The vice president made his final decision earlier this week. 

Several INDY REPUBLICAN readers have contacted us and said they found it interesting that Pence's aide would emphasize that taxpayer money would not be paying Cullen's legal fees. In light of the fact according to Vice President Pence's financial disclosure here he filed last year it showed him as not having any money!

Mike Pence when he looked at his bank account: 

 


So if the taxpayers are not going to pay for Cullen, then how is Mike Pence planning on paying his attorney? Another question we have been asking ourselves is just when did Mike Pence decide to go around shopping for an attorney. The aide quoted said that several candidates were interviewed over a period of around two weeks with the decision to hire Cullen was made earlier this week. Now Vice President Pence was originally scheduled to give an interview on June 7, 2017 on PBS's "News Hour" program but canceled the interview shortly before it was to start.

Now the cancelled interview was to take place on June 7th. The news of Pence's decision to hire Richard Cullen was reported on June 15th, this past Thursday, or 8 days after the cancelled interview. That would fall within the "several weeks" timeline mentioned by Pence's office. So if Pence had to interview potential lawyers during that timeframe that could very well account for his abrupt cancellation with PBS. Since even if he did not interview potential lawyers in person. Pence at the very least would have had to speak to them via phone or some other means. 

The Post reports that Cullen is no stranger to representing high profile clients. Ashley Parker gives the following background information on Cullen:

Cullen, a former Virginia attorney general, served as the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia under President George H. W. Bush and worked on President George W. Bush’s legal team during the Florida recount in the 2000 presidential election.
His other high-profile clients have included Tom DeLay, the former Republican majority leader who was investigated by the Department of Justice for his relationship with Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff; Elin Nordegren, the ex-wife of Tiger Woods, in her divorce from the golf star; and former senator Paul Trible (R-Va.), during the Iran-contra investigation.
Ms. Parker elaborates further on how Mike Pence has potentially been drawn into the Russian-Trump collusion investigation:

As Trump’s No. 2 and as head of the transition team, Pence has increasingly found himself drawn into the widening Russia investigation.  Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, misled Pence about his contacts with Russian officials — Pence then repeated the incorrect claims publicly. The vice president was kept in the dark for nearly two weeks about Flynn’s false statements before learning the truth in a Post report. 

Trump fired Flynn for misleading the vice president. 
There were also news reports that Flynn’s lawyers had alerted Trump’s transition team 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 not informed of Flynn’s overseas work with Turkey, either.
James Comey and Cullen once worked together at McGuireWoods and Cullen is godfather to one of Comey’s daughters.
Forgive us if we are finding it impossible to believe that Mike Pence was in charge of the Trump transition team, but somehow was unaware of Michael Flynn's lawyers having informed the transition team that Flynn was under federal investigation! It is also bizarre that the lawyer that Pence finally settled on was an the godfather of one of fired former FBI Director James Comey's daughters! That's is to much for King Kong to swallow! 
The Vice President's increasingly being so repeatedly near the scandals of the Trump administration. Has caught the notice of several who are finding it harder and harder to buy the nonsense being shoveled that Mike Pence is just a nice, squeaky clean guy.
Pence's former congressional colleague and host of MSNBC's "Morning Joe". Former Congressman Joe Scarborough (R-FL) said last month:

“There’s no middle ground,” he added.

Allan Lichtman a history professor at American University in Washington, D.C. and the man most famous for correctly predicting the winner of every presidential election since 1984. Including being one of the only experts to correctly forecast that Donald Trump would win the 2016 election. Professor Lichtman has trained his sharp mind to trying to ascertain the Vice Presidents role in the Trump administration. The good professor is skeptical to say the least about old Mikey being a victim of those around him.

Lichtman writing in an op-ed piece on CNBC.COM on May 19th, 2017 had this to say:

According to a now standard account, Pence is the innocent victim of deceptions by others – former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and the president himself.

But this is supposition only, with no hard evidence behind it. It is equally plausible that Pence is complicit in the lies propagated by the Trump administration and perhaps even involved in a cover-up of potentially impeachable transgressions. That's why he must be investigated thoroughly by the Congress and the FBI along with the president and other members of the Trump campaign team and administration.

For a seasoned politician who served for 12 years in Congress and three years as governor of Indiana, Pence has seemed remarkably easy to fool. Supposedly, Mike Flynn fooled Pence into affirming that Flynn's conversations with Soviet Ambassador Sergey Kislyak were "strictly coincidental" and had nothing "to do with United States' decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against Russia."

Pence was allegedly fooled again when he said that Trump fired FBI Director Comey because he accepted "the recommendation of the deputy attorney general and the attorney general." Trump later admitted that he had intended to sack Comey before he received any Justice Department recommendations and that "this Russia thing with Trump" was on his mind when he made the firing decision.

The theory of Pence as innocent victim lacks credibility.

As vice president on March 9, 2017, Pence said that regarding stories about Flynn's lobbying for Turkey, "Hearing that story today was the first I'd heard of it." Yet Pence was the head of the transition team that recommended Flynn for National Security Adviser and news reports in November 2016 had disclosed Flynn's lobbying for Turkey.

Beyond press reports, on November 18, 2016, Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings, the ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter to Pence warning: "Recent news reports have revealed that Lt. Gen. Flynn was receiving classified briefings during the presidential campaign while his consulting firm, Flynn Intel Group, Inc., was being paid to lobby the U.S. Government on behalf of a foreign government's interests. … Lt. Gen. Flynn's General Counsel and Principal, Robert Kelley, confirmed that they were hired by a foreign company to lobby for Turkish interests"

Lies spoken softly by Mike Pence are no less insidious than lies bellowed and blustered by Donald Trump. Pence must be part of all investigations of the Trump administration. Under Article 2, Section 4 of the constitution, a vice president no less than a president is subject to impeachment.

Such damning statements made about a sitting Vice President of the United States by one of America's finest political experts and by a former fellow congressman are not to be dismissed lightly. If Michael Flynn's lawyers did indeed tell the Pence-led Trump transition team  about Flynn's work being the subject of a federal investigation. In all likelihood Mike Pence was aware of this as well! Which would mean that even a dimwit like "Pampered" Mike Pence would know he was going to probably need a lawyer. And he would have known this before assuming office. Which would make the matter of him being able to pay what would undoubtedly be exorbitant legal fees an urgent one.

But how to pay a high powered lawyer if he reported having no money on his disclosure form?

Well the Wall Street Journal's Rebecca Ballhaus may have an answer in her article "Here's How Pence Could Pay for a Personal Lawyer".

Ms. Ballhaus writes:

How does the former governor, whose financial disclosure last year appeared to show a negative net worth, plan to pay him?

The likely solution: an independent political group launched by Pence allies last month that can raise up to $5,000 per donor and has no restrictions on the personal use of funds.

Mr. Pence on Friday is set to attend a fundraiser for the group, Great America Committee, in Indianapolis, a day after his office said the vice president had retained Richard Cullen, chairman of the prominent law firm McGuireWoods, to represent him in the special counsel probe of Trump associates’ ties to Russia. Premier tickets to the event cost $5,000, while donors who pay $2,500 gain access to a reception at the hotel where the event is hosted.

Mr. Pence will most likely use funds raised through that group to pay for his legal bills, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Mr. Cullen said Mr. Pence’s office had directed him to “make certain that whatever method [of payment] is used is compliant with all federal law and regulation.”

There are no rules barring Mr. Pence from using the group’s funds to pay for his private attorney, said Kenneth Gross, former head of enforcement at the Federal Election Commission.

“There is no personal use restriction on a leadership PAC,” he said.

Using leadership PAC funds to pay for a private attorney would allow top donors to Mr. Pence to bankroll his legal defense as the special counsel’s probe heats up.

Ms. Ballhaus mentions that the creation of this PAC was most curious because:

The creation of one (a PAC) on Mr. Pence’s behalf earlier this year raised eyebrows, as vice presidents—particularly those in their first terms—rarely have their own political committees separate from the president.

Another weird twist is that Mike Pence is the honorary chairman of the PAC. And his aide Marty Obst is on the staff of the Great America Committee. Readers of this blog and Gary Welsh's Advance Indiana blog may remember that Obst was associated with the shady real estate agent John Bales and also unsuccessfully tried to save Senator Richard Lugar from losing the 2012 Republican Senatorial Primary. The inclusion of Obst on the Great America Committee and the fact that Pence came down to Indianapolis to fundraise for his pack one day after hiring Richard Cullen as his attorney does not pass the smell test.

So what are we to make of the increasingly boneheaded and paranoid actions of Mike Pence? 

Bill Kristol the founder of conservative magazine The Weekly Standard had this to say about an unusual tweet the VP made:

 Bill Kristol @BillKristol

Why this tweet now? Speculation: Trump's angry at Pence over news Pence hired a lawyer. Pence desperately trying to show Trump he's loyal. 1:58 PM · Jun 16, 2017
In the INDY REPUBLICAN mailbag a reader made this observation about VP Pence groveling like a submissive worm to his D.C. masters:
Typical Pence...the soft, weak link of any team....probably wears "depends" undergarments for as much as he pisses his pants. Wonder what is worrying the little pissant so much?
We love our readers insights into Mike Pence. We think they are mistaken about one thing though. They forgot that since Pence is Number 2 in Washington he most likely would have to wear depends because he just craps so much! 

3 comments :

  1. Very long but informative post on the phony, finger to the wind, tool of the establishment Mike Pence. Career politicians, be they eGOP, Democrat, even Socialist (think Bernie Sanders), seem to be among the wealthiest persons in the country but have "ethics disclosures" purporting they have no money. These "ethics/wealth discosure (I use the word very loosely) forms" which the politicians themselves created in the laws they themselves passed) are toothless and full of loopholes from which the career politicians profit.

    To realize Mike Pence is theoretically "this close" to being POTUS sickens me to my core. I am a constitutional conservative who has come to the conclusion until America rids Herself of career politicians like Pence (and the Clintons, the Pelosis, the Schumers, the Ryans, the McConnells, etc., and the uber-wealthy patrons who pull the puppet strings) absolutely nothing will change other than the cold cruel fact that in America there is different justice and there are different opportunities depending on to which devil you sell yourself. Pence sold his empty self out years ago.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To Anonymous; There's a few problems with your opinion, first, the Capitalist society we have, allows for such advantage of the well to do and powerful, second, the equivalent comparison you make to GOP and Dems are just Morally wrong. I do believe you are a right wing nut hiding behind the Constitution.

      Delete
    2. Don't forget to vote Democratic in '18......you far right wingnut....trying to hide you opinions behind the constitution....lmao

      Delete

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