A Mike Pence aide testified. She submitted a supplemental filing about Pence’s September 18th call with the Ukrainian president. Pence classified the information in the supplemental filing. Nothing to see here, folks.
Now, I’m going to say straight away that Pence classifying the information his aide, Jennifer Williams, wanted to give to the House Intelligence Committee tells us nothing about the actual content of the filing or even anything particular about Pence’s broader strategy. But, and it’s a big “but,” it really does not make Pence look good. If he were as straight-laced as Republicans like to make him out to be, he’d have spilled on Trump ages ago. Pence is in on the whole thing, and his decision to classify the information in Williams’ supplemental filing is ultimately just another Trumpian delay tactic.
Naturally, Trump decided to belly-flop into this mess by tweeting. Specifically, he tweeted “Tell Jennifer Williams, whoever that is, to read BOTH transcripts of the presidential calls, & see the just released statement [sic] from Ukraine. Then she should meet with other Never Trumpers, who I don’t know & mostly never even heard of, & work out a better presidential attack!” Nothing but class.
Pence’s classification of the information and Trump’s attack on Williams can tell us a few things more about what to expect with regards to Pence’s near future, and perhaps something critical about the inevitable end of his political career. Firstly, we can expect Fox News and other conservative brainwash factories to start making absurd claims about Williams and grasping at discrediting her. It’s a natural cycle in the Trump-Fox feedback loop.
Secondly, we might see a court battle over this. Adam Schiff has already sent a formal letter to Pence requesting the information be declassified because, of course, there appears to be no genuine reason for the classification in the first place. The courts, while typically glacial, might expedite such a case because of its nature. Further, they haven’t taken kindly to ham-fisted policy choices by the Trump administration, and in my estimation, this one seems reasonably stupid (although less than most, given the vice president’s somewhat broad discretionary powers of this sort of thing).
Lastly, if this is how Pence intends to fight the system, he’s in for a losing battle. Delay tactics like this come across as both desperate and feeble. Pence knows he doesn’t have a lot of other options at this point. Think about it: what is he able to do other than cling on to Mother and beg for mercy? The man is guilty. His only other realistic option is to throw in the towel and come forward with the truth. That would take honor and integrity, and Lord knows his lack of both is what got him here in the first place.
Democracy thrives in snarkiness