Pence condemns criticism of FBI after Mar-a-Lago raid, inches ever closer to Never Trump territory

The day after Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) suffered a primary loss to the Trump-endorsed Harriet Hageman for her relentless efforts to malign former President Donald Trump through the sham Jan. 6 committee, former Vice President Mike Pence tiptoed toward the “Never Trumpers” with his remarks on the FBI raid and possible future testimony.

 

Speaking at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., on Wednesday as part of the “Politics & Eggs” forum, Trump’s former running mate garnered applause in the Granite State for his blanket endorsement of the FBI. His comments came more than a week after the president’s residence at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, FL had been raided with the approval of Attorney General Merrick Garland.

“This unprecedented action does demand unprecedented transparency,” Pence said after noting he and Trump had had “differences.” However, he went on to state, “I also want to remind my fellow Republicans we can hold the attorney general accountable for the decision that he made without attacking the rank and file law enforcement personnel at the FBI.”

“The Republican Party is the party of law and order. Our party stands with the men and women who serve on the thin blue line at the federal, state and local level. And these attacks on the FBI must stop,” he railed.

“Calls to defund the FBI are just as wrong as calls to defund the police,” the vice president contended. “The truth of the matter is, we need to get to the bottom of what happened. We need to let the facts play out. But more than anything else, the American people need to be reassured in the integrity of our justice system, and the very appearance of a recurrence of politics playing a role in decisions at the Justice Department demands transparency as never before.”

Pence’s attempt at finding a moderate middle on the issue seemed to miss the fact that calls for defunding the FBI stemmed from the prevailing belief that the agency had been politically weaponized against the former president. This was evidenced by his entreaty to Garland “to give the American people a full accounting of the reasons why this action was necessary and while he’s begun to do so, it’s not nearly enough information … and I’m going to continue to call on the attorney general to make that information available to the American people, make it available to the intelligence committees that are competent in dealing with classified information.”

If the DOJ were interested in being forthcoming with the American people then they wouldn’t have petitioned a court to block a release of even a redacted copy of the affidavit that was used to justify the fishing expedition.

Of course, Pence’s disconnect from the base was only further highlighted during a question and answer session when he spoke up about his potential willingness to testify before the Jan. 6 committee.

“If there was an invitation to participate, I would consider it. But, you’ve heard me mention the Constitution a few times this morning,” he couched, as he once again tried to present himself as a moderate. “In the Constitution we have three coequal branches of government and any invitation to be directed to me I would have to reflect on the unique role that I was serving in as vice president. It would be unprecedented in history for a vice president to be summoned to testify on Capitol Hill. But, as I said, I don’t want to pre-judge.”

Should Pence be eyeing a future bid for elected office and not a contributor’s spot as a progressive’s piñata with corporate media, he would do well to read the room and look to the reactions from conservatives on Hageman’s victory over Cheney in Wyoming Tuesday.

As Trump himself had said joining a chorus of thanks to the people of Wyoming, “Liz Cheney’s uninspiring concession speech, in front of a ‘tiny’ crowd in the Great State of Wyoming, focused on her belief that the 2020 Presidential Election was not, despite massive and conclusive evidence to the contrary, Rigged & Stolen. It was, and that’s not even counting the fact that many election changes, in numerous States, were not approved by State Legislatures, an absolute must. Liz Cheney is a fool who played right into the hands of those who want to destroy our Country!”

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Kevin Haggerty

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