Mike Pence can leak all he wants about how he’s “considering cooperating” with the DOJ against Trump. That’s not a thing. If prosecutors decide you have to testify to a grand jury, it happens. If you fight it, you lose very quickly, and you end up having to testify anyway.
Senator Lindsey Graham ended up having to testify against Trump earlier this week, much as he tried to get out of it, and that was “only” a local District Attorney probe. You’d better believe the DOJ can and will force Pence to testify against Trump in a federal grand jury probe.
The real problem here is that major media outlets, in exchange for being given exclusive leaks, are willing to (inaccurately and dishonestly) write the story from the point of view of the leaker.
Pence leaks this story to the New York Times, on the condition that it has to say that he’s “considering cooperating” instead of factually explaining that he has zero choice in the matter. And the New York Times agrees to it, because of the lucrative page views that come with that kind of exclusive leak.
The problem is, when the media pulls this kind of crap, most people fall for it. The average person, who doesn’t follow politics closely and doesn’t know how grand jury criminal probes work, just assumes it’s true. And the defeatists on our side are always eager to swallow whatever nonsense the media feeds them, so long as it allows them to feel outrage. So if the headline suggests that Pence gets to decide whether to participate in a criminal probe, the defeatists just decide to go along with it and begin angrily ranting about it, without caring that the media is playing them.
All of this lunacy needs to stop. Major media outlets need to stop agreeing to run false and misleading headlines that promote a corrupt politician’s agenda in exchange for an exclusive leak from that politician. And when the public encounters such nonsense, it needs to recognize it when it sees it, and hold the media accountable instead of just using it as an excuse to launch into angry defeatist ranting about how the other side is “getting away with it all.” Everyone needs to do better – or else the media’s phony headlines will continue to get worse.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report