Helter Skelter is coming down fast Charles Manson
Man! How much importance can be packed into one simple announcement? In this case a lot. ABC News was first to break, confirmed by NBC News and now The New York Times that Special Counsel Jack Smith has served former Vice President Mike Pence with a grand jury subpoena, dealing with the events leading up to, and following January 6th.
This announcement should tell a whole lot of people all they need to know. For us regular goofs, sick of all of the waiting and foofaraw, relax, the end is almost certainly nigh. Because the old adage is true, you build a complex case from the bottom up. Start with the guppies, work youe way up to the minnows, angelfish, and so forth. The point being, How do you know what to ask if you don’t have all the information?
The NY Attorney General’s civil case against Traitor tot is a perfect example. She got every scrap of paper she could, talked to pretty much everybody Trump ever knew, and only then did she bring El Pendejo Presidente in for a grilling, producing 400+ 5th Amendment responses. I find it inconceivable that Smith hasn’t done the same thing. Since it’s highly unlikely that Smith subpoenas Trump. Pence is the biggest fish he’s going to hook. Which makes it likely that Pence is the last witness Smith will call before the grand jury.
This subpoena also provokes a possible double dealing dynamic that we may never be able to solve. Normally, if they’re dealing with a witness, the prosecutor asks them to appear in front of the grand jury. If the witness declines, then the prosecutor can go to the grand jury for a subpoena. And at the moment, I’m betting that this is the way most people think this went.
But Mike Pence isn’t a normal witness, and he’s not in a normal situation. Ever since the J6 Committee, Pence has been playing coy on whether or not he’d testify. After all, he’s the Mango Messiah’s former right-hand man, and he’s thinking of running for President in 2024, possibly against his old boss. And that dynamic may mean that it would be profitable for Pence to have the man who wanted him dead tied up in an indictment. But not by voluntarily appearing and looking like a traitor. Which leaves the scenario where Smith asks Pence to testify, and Pence replies with: Gee, I’d love to talk to you guys, and tell you all about it, but I can’t be seen doing it voluntarily. Get a subpoena, and I’ll be there with bells on. You gotta admit, it isn’t implausible.
And now come the traitors scurrying for their hidey-holes. Obviously people like Mark Meadows, Steve Bannon, Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Peter Navarro, and Roger Stone all have lawyers. Probably better ones than Trump has. And if I can read this playbook, sure as hell those guys can too. And right now those lawyers are probably telling their clients to start preparing for the worst, and likely sooner than later.
Because these things normally have a flow to them. As a standup comic, the first and most inviolate rule I learned was Lead off with your 2nd best joke, and close with your best joke. After all, when’s the last time you went to a concert, U2 came out first, then the warm-up band came out to finish things off.
Those ass clowns I named are ass clowns because they’re criminally stupid. I wouldn’t be surprised if Smith and his team have several, if not most of them already tied up in a bow, they just don’t want to tip their mitts yet. But as they start to tie the final knots on The Trumpster Fire, why not have a little fun, holding a press conference or two, outlining the indictments against the oower level dimshits. Get peoples juices flowing. And then, when the time is right, drop an El Pendejo Presidente perp walk on the joyous world?
Even as a layman, I can’t see any other way this goes, for one simple reason. If Merrick Garland was going to quietly try to run out the clock on this, and finally announce that there was insufficient evidence, or that it wasn’t in the public interest to file charges, why call Pence before the grand jury at all? If Trump is the target, then you’re not going to get a bigger fish than Pence. If you call him, then he’s supposed to be the feather in your cap, and not the anvil tied to your ankles. From where I’m sitting, Jack Smith tipped his hand today. Don’t touch that dial.
White collar criminals rarely do a perp walk, those are saved for the less fortunate. That said, I don’t need a perp walk, just an indictment or two or three. The sooner he’s charged, the sooner the trial and with his past pattern of delay, delay, delay, hopefully the judge will set a date and stick to it.
Yes they do, tuckedd! Because the hallway that goes from the processing and holding area in federal court to the courtroom is a public space…And ALL criminal defendents appear in court in handcuffs…The cameras jam the hallway and immortalize the shame…Just look at Steve Bannon, roger Stone, Paul Manafort and Allen Weisselberg…We got to see all of them in irons on the way in…
I have a front page picture of Ken Lay of Enron fame being frog marched in handcuffs, so I know it can happen. I saved that front page because I lost my life savings in that mess thanks to a rat of a broker who told me it was all going to be fine and just let my shares ride. Needless to say, I no longer gamble in the stock market.
My question, Murph, would be is Smith relying on the sworn testimony of the other players to the January 6th committee to build his case? Reports of folks being called to talk to his grand jury are sparse.
Not really Dino…You have to remember, that grand jury has been up and running for more than a year, long before Smith was named…Pence’s COS Mark Short has testified, Cassidy Hutchinson has testified, and so have many of the lower and mid level conspirators, they just did it before Sith got there…
I think the scenario you outlined of Pence (quietly, behind the scenes) playing the “It will kill my campaign for President to cooperate voluntarily so please subpoena me” game. However, it’s equally plausible Pence wants to be President more than McCarthy wanted to be Speaker, wants it even more than Trump wants to fuck his oldest daughter even that he tried to get out of testifying at all. At least in person. I can see him, through his attorneys trying the “please submit your questions in written form and we’ll get back to you… whenever.” But it’s possible Pence’s resistance will go beyond that. He might well try to play Executive Privilege games an drag this out. I figure Smith is prepared for that and has communicated to the judge in charge of the grand jury that he will have a brief prepared to address this and that Pence and his lawyers have been given a copy – so that the judge can set a quick hearing. Pence might try to play a legally dangerous game of avoidance and/or dissembling in front of the grand jury.
On the broader front, I think you’re right about other players – if Pence has been subpoenaed to appear before the grand jury then things are going to start happening and pretty soon. They are about to get immersed in the real world, instead of their MAGA world where there are no consequences for people like them. One final thought to keep in mind, now that his big “Weaponization” committee is up and running what does Gym Jordan do? He can rant and rave and try to call Smith himself to appear, but it’s worth remembering Jordan himself had communications with Trump during a vital time frame. Jordan might paint a target on his own back if he kicks up too much fuss!
Won’t happen Denis, for one simple reason…FrankenTrump is still out and on the loose…And as long as he is, his base is NEVER going to go for Pence, no matter how loyal he appears.,,Pence’s lane is the disgruntled former Trump voters and moderates and independents, not Trump’s base…But that could get crowded…Nikki Haley will be trying to run in the same lane, and so will Tim Scotrt if he’s that stupid…Pimpeo and Bolton will also try to squeeze in there…Even Pissantis isn’t trying to horn in Trump’s base lane…Pissantis wants to be “Trump without the Trump…
Jordan doesn’t have to paint a target on his own back. It’s already there.