In an interview with Fox News on Thursday, Vice-President Mike Pence said he was just learning about Mike Flynn’s lobbyist roll. The fired National Security Adviser filed as a Foreign Agent on Tuesday. Unless it was ignored, Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings who is a Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter to Pence in November 2016, requesting information regarding Flynn’s potential conflicts of interests. Apparently, Flynn’s lobbying work was pretty much common knowledge despite the vice-president’s claim of innocence.

Be careful of what you say and what you read

Flynn only recently filed as a foreign agent even though he sat in on briefings with then President-elect Trump and ran a consulting firm which is lobbying for Turkish interests. Representative Cummings could not have been clearer in his letter. Cummings had concerns due to news reports regarding Flynn receiving classified briefings during the Trump campaign while his firm, Flynn Intel Group was being paid on behalf of foreign government’s interests. After Trump and Pence made claims of not knowing about Flynn’s role as a registered foreign agent, Cummings retorted that this is what happens when you disregard Democrats and only rely on fake news generated by the office next door.

Pleading the fifth can last for only so long

This young administration has been besieged by headlines ranging from outrageous to alarming to outrageously alarming. While immigrants and foreign travelers are to be scrutinized by “extreme vetting,” many are questioning what and who is being allowed to help govern our government.

Meanwhile, personnel from various agencies are being fired quietly and publicly. Some are laced with scandal. Others are feared to be non-loyalists. And when things go wrong, say you don’t know or don’t recall even though proof showing otherwise will likely surface. Are potential ties to Russian oligarchs, collusions involving cyber-attacks, having conflicts of interests and shady financial schemes no longer disqualifiers or is this part of the new democracy?