When Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi first announced she was starting the impeachment process against Donald Trump, it was fairly easy to predict that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Attorney General Bill Barr would do everything they could to protect Trump. They’re corruptly loyal to him – and they’re so deeply involved in the criminal Ukraine plot, they’re going to prison unless they kiss his backside in the hope of a pardon.
Sure enough, Barr and Pompeo are now committing obstruction of justice felonies in the hope of fending off their inevitable fate behind bars. But when impeachment started, Palmer Report asked aloud whether Secretary of Defense Mark Esper would be so quick to throw his life away in the name of trying to save Donald Trump.
Esper is from the defense contractor industry, so he has absolutely no business running the Pentagon. But he’s only been on the job for a couple months and doesn’t appear to have been involved in the original Ukraine criminal plot. So once the House impeachment inquiry subpoenaed him for documents in the scandal, what would be do?
Mark Esper appeared on Face The Nation this morning and announced that he plans to fully cooperate with the impeachment inquiry, and that he’s already had the Defense Department’s General Counsel order all employees to retain all relevant documents.
It’s theoretically possible that Esper could be playing both sides. But by announcing that he plans to cooperate, he just gave away any leverage that he and Donald Trump might have had in court for arguing that they don’t need to be turned over. Esper appears to have decided that he’s not willing to go to prison in the name of protecting Trump.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report