Making Sense Of Pence

Mike Pence is precisely the sort of politician I dislike the most. His public persona is pompous and sanctimonious. As Trump’s Veep, he was a pious sycophant known for kowtowing to the worst president in American history.

Pence did only one thing right in his Vice Presidency: certifying Biden’s election victory. He’s about to mar that brief shining moment because he has delusions that he can become president. Never gonna happen, my friend.

A reminder that Pence WANTED to do Trump’s bidding on January 6, 2021. He searched for ways to send the electoral college back to school in the swing states. He found none thereby confirming this sentiment by the first Vice President:

Mike Pence was a throwback Veep to the days of his fellow Hoosier J. Danforth Quayle. In fact, Quayle was one of those who advised Pence that his role on 1/6/2021 was akin to being a potted plant.

Now the potted plant is advancing a novel and contradictory legal theory to avoid testifying before the grand jury investigating the Dipshit Insurrection. Here’s how my fellow lapsed lawyer David Kurtz summed it up at Talking Points Memo:

“Pence wants to have it both ways: He said he couldn’t testify to the House Jan. 6 select committee because he was an executive branch official, and now he’s preparing to say he can’t testify to a federal grand jury because he was a legislative branch official (as president of the Senate).”

Having it both ways is Mike Pence’s jam. He was the ego to Trump’s id. He was the yin to Trump’s yang. If you believe the MSM line, he was the respectable face of a disreputable administration.

Pence still wants us to believe he was Pat O’Brien’s pious priest to Jimmy Cagney’s flashy gangster in Angels With Dirty Faces. Instead, he got his face dirty just by being on the ballot twice with the Impeached Insult Comedian.

His legal argument is novel, but it’s still a loser. Team Pence didn’t argue executive privilege because that’s a proven loser. Only Clarence Thomas thought it had any merit at all.

Larry Tribe co-wrote a piece for Slate that dismisses the Pence argument out of hand as transparently political and legally preposterous. Professor Tribe and Dennis Aftergut also remind us that someone else recently tried the “speech and debate” clause dodge:

“Last year, Sen. Lindsey Graham failed when invoking the clause to try to avoid testifying before Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ grand jury about a phone call he made shortly after the November election to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. While one never knows with this radical Supreme Court majority, the same result should apply here.

It didn’t work for the Incredible Mr. Lindsey and he’s a sitting senator. It’s not going to work for the potted plant.

Tribe and Aftergut also discuss a SCOTUS case addressing the speech and debate clause:

“Further, testimony regarding criminal actions is not protected by the speech and debate clause. Notably, in 1972, the Supreme Court rejected Maryland Democratic Sen. Daniel Brewster’s claim that the speech and debate clause immunized him from prosecution for allegedly taking a bribe. “Obviously,” the court wrote, bribery is “no part of the legislative function” and is therefore “not a legislative act.”

Surely testimony in Justice Department investigations, like the one being pursued into Trump for conspiring to stay in power, in apparent violation of various federal crimes, is similarly carved out.

Indeed, in the course of ruling in Brewster’s case, the court distinguished “political acts” from “legislative” ones: “[I]t has never been seriously contended that … political matters … have the protection afforded by the Speech or Debate Clause.” What Trump discussed with Pence was as shamefully political as anyone might imagine, and also potentially in violation of laws against obstruction in a congressional proceeding or participating in a seditious conspiracy.

Pence’s argument is SOL and should be DOA in the courts. A reminder that I along with most legal analysts said the same thing about the fakakta opinion by Judge Cannon in the purloined letters case. The speech and debate clause case is a loser just like Mike Pence.

Mike Pence is a maddening public figure. I tried to make sense of the former Veep in a 2021 post, Mike Pence Is Made Of Calmer Stuff. It was written six days after the Dipshit Insurrection and I concluded that Pence gave stoicism a bad name. He still does.

Finally, as president of the senate, Mike Pence was a crime victim on that dark January day. I thought god-fearing, church-going Americans co-operated with police and prosecutors. He’s setting a bad example for his fellow psalm-singing sons of bitches.

I’ve tried to talk sense about the  disconnect between Pence’s public piety and his subpoena avoidance but it’s not easy making sense of Pence.

The last word goes to Neil and Tim Finn:

One thought on “Making Sense Of Pence

  1. Good that you post photos reminding everyone about Pence and his fly familiar, that lives in his right nostril.

    For humans, this would be weird, but remember: there are VAMPIRES in his family. It is known.

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