It’s about to start “raining indictments” in Donald Trump’s Russia scandal – and indictments mean criminal charges, arrests, and potential deals. It’s already confirmed that at least one Trump-Russia player will be arrested on Monday, with more likely to soon follow. Now one legal expert is making the case that Vice President Mike Pence is connected to at least one of the arrests that’s expected to take place.
Many are expecting Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort to be arrested on Monday. For that matter, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s people have previously warned Manafort that his indictment and arrest were forthcoming. Harvard Professor Laurence Tribe, one of the most widely respected legal experts in the United States, reminded everyone on Sunday night that “The Pence/Manafort axis should be kept in mind as the sky starts raining indictments.” (link) So what’s he referring to?
Professor Tribe included a link to a Daily Kos article which highlights the sheer number of instances in which Mike Pence and Paul Manafort communicated with each other during the transition period, after election day and before inauguration (link). There was no above-board purpose for this, as Manafort had departed the campaign months earlier, and he had no official transition role whatsoever. Meanwhile Pence was in charge of the transition for most of its duration. It’s also long been reported that when Manafort was campaign chair, he used a series of hijinks to trick Trump into picking Pence as his running mate.
Why would the Vice President-elect spend the transition period calling up the disgraced former campaign manager on the phone? That’s never been entirely clear, but it’s likely the same answer to why Paul Manafort bent over so far backward to make sure Donald Trump picked Mike Pence to be his running mate to begin with. Bottom line: Pence isn’t getting through the Trump-Russia scandal cleanly.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report