The Mike Pence resignation deal

It’s all over for Mike Pence. Wednesday night’s bombshell about his involvement in the Ukraine whistleblower scandal makes clear that 1) he’s now fully compromised, and 2) the Trump regime is leaking dirt on Pence in order to make sure he’s compromised. Pence can’t survive this – and so it’s time to talk about the plea deal he’s going to have to end up cutting.

Back when it was clear that Richard Nixon was going down eventually, his vice president Spiro Agnew was caught up in his own criminal scandal. Prosecutors essentially offered Angew the opportunity to resign and go home, instead of going to prison. Agnew took it. That allowed Congress to essentially force Nixon to accept its bipartisan choice for Angew’s replacement, Gerald Ford. That way, when Nixon was later ousted, Ford – a non corrupt and inoffensive choice – became president.

That same scenario could theoretically play out with Mike Pence. He could cut a non-prosecution deal for his now documented role in the Ukraine criminal conspiracy, in exchange for resigning and agreeing to never re-enter politics. The catch is that there isn’t anyone for Pence to cut a deal with right now. Bill Barr’s Department of Justice isn’t going to allow Pence to cut a cooperation deal against Trump. So Pence would have to take a leap of faith by cutting a non-binding deal with Nancy Pelosi, and then trust that the next iteration of the DOJ honors it under the next president.

If Mike Pence does resign, and he does provide the kind of evidence that will leave the GOP Senate with no choice but to force Donald Trump to resign, it’ll create a surreal situation where Pelosi becomes President of the United States. That is, unless the GOP Senate orchestrates the resignations of Trump and Pence in staggered fashion, so that a Ford-like figure can be confirmed as the new VP in between those resignations.

That would create a surreal situation of its own. Both parties would have to agree a VP nominee, because that person would need to be ratified by both the House and Senate. It’s difficult to think of anyone in current U.S. politics who would be found acceptable as a caretaker president by both parties. But if no one can be agreed on, and the Trump and Pence resignations play out in rapid fashion, we really could be looking at President Pelosi. Pence has some serious thinking to do right now. It’s over for him; it’s just a matter of when and how he wants to go down.

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