Breaking with a decades-long tradition, the White House today refused to issue a pardon to the annual White House turkey, instead arresting the bird during the ceremony and charging it with numerous counts of espionage and treason against the government.
President Barack Obama, flanked by police and Secret Service agents, approached the turkey personally with a warrant in hand to read the charges and oversee the arrest first hand.The turkey, who has been residing in the United States under the assumed name Gobbles McGobbley, is suspected to be a Russian agent by the name of Oleg Vasiliev, and is believed by US intelligence agencies to have played a part in the hacks of the Democratic National Committee. The DNC leaks created a lot of headaches for Committee Chairman John Podesta as well as numerous DNC officials and news personalities throughout the election cycle. Media charged that the DNC emails were leaked in order to influence the election in favor of Donald Trump, which clashed with the work the media had done until that point.
In a brief public statement after playing a heroic role in the arrest, President Obama stated that Central Intelligence had determined that Vasiliev had devised a plan to be the White House turkey in order to receive a full presidential pardon before returning to Russia. While the president stressed that the investigation was still ongoing, he reported that the CIA had evidence in hand to prove that Vasiliev was “at least a co-conspirator in numerous acts of espionage and treason as an illegal hacker in an attempt to influence a United States presidential election.”
Rolling his eyes towards the end of the statement, the president said, “Keep it coming, Russia. Stay classy.”
If convicted, Vasiliev could face anywhere from 25 years in a maximum security prison to a one-way trip to the White House Dining Hall for a future Thanksgiving dinner.