Former Vice President Michael Pence has been travelling the world in search of a new home after learning that Donald Trump, once back in power, intends to open a sealed indictment charging him with treason, sedition, conspiring with the enemy, and violations of the Espionage Act of 1917.
Shortly after the Jan 6 riots, the State Department released Pence’s itinerary; he would visit Bahrain, Israel, and Poland for unspecified diplomatic reasons as part of his final vice-presidential responsibilities before returning stateside on Jan 11 to brief the incoming Covid-19 task force. That meeting never happened. In fact, Pence returned to the White House only long enough to collect his belongings before resuming his search abroad for a new home far beyond Trump’s reach.
Moreover, the Jan 6 diplomatic assignment was a cover story fabricated by the State Department—which Trump has often called the “Deep State” Department—so Pence could distance himself from Trump’s wrath, according to a State Dept. source and former friend of Michael Pence. Their friendship soured on 20 January he said, because he felt guilty for aiding and abetting a known enemy of Donald Trump.
On January 8 Pence was in Qatar to discuss political asylum with Prime Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdul Aziz al-Thani. Pence told al-Thani he gravely feared Donald Trump and believed that Trump would eventually retaliate against him for refusing to halt the Electoral College certification.
That Qatar embraced a certain degree of religious freedom, and does not persecute or murder Christians, factored into Pence’s decision. And Qatar’s affluence, being the wealthiest nation in the world, on a per person basis, was certainly a pivotal reason, too.
“Mike doesn’t want to live in some third world backwater berg,” our source said. “Safety and financial security for him and his family is extremely important. He believes that Trump won’t stop with him, that he might try to cook up evidence and indict the family—that whole sins of the father Klingon mentality. From what I know, Al-Shani said he’d consider Pence’s request.”
Article I of Qatar’s new asylum law, codified in 2018, refers to a refugee as “a political asylee,” which it defines as “any person outside his country of nationality or habitual residency if he is not a citizen, who is unable or unwilling to return to this country due to a justified fear of execution or bodily punishment, torture, inhumane or degrading treatment, or persecution, on account of his ethnicity, religion, or affiliation with a specific social group, or due to his political beliefs.”
Further, Article 15 prohibits returning a refugee to “his country of origin or to another country in which he fears he will be in danger or subject to persecution.”
Although Pence met the criteria for asylum, Al-Thani had trepidations because, while the countries lack an extradition policy, their bilateral relations are strong, and they coordinate closely on a wide range of regional and global issues. Qatar has played a constructive financial, political, and military role in addressing regional turmoil, and in partnership with the United States, has contributed to progress, stability, and prosperity in the region. As Qatar’s largest foreign direct investor and its single largest source of imports, the United States has developed a robust trade relationship with Qatar, with over 120 US companies operating in country.
Nevertheless, Al-Thani reportedly said he would grant the request, and deal with repercussions, if any later, if Pence ultimately decided to live in Qatar. The two men had quite different opinions, however, on whether Trump would regain power.
“Mike has a palpable fear Trump will soon be back in office. He doesn’t think it’s a possibility; he thinks it’s a probability. Otherwise, he wouldn’t think of leaving the country,” our source said.
In closing, RRN has obtained preliminary information suggesting that Pence has made three trips to Qatar. We also are investigating reports of Pence having had conversations with China’s Xi Jinping, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, and none other than Pope Francis of Vatican City.
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