Vice President Mike Pence has been keeping a remarkably low profile lately, presumably under the premise that if he keeps his head down long enough, he might inherit the presidency by default. But even as it becomes increasingly clear that Donald Trump isn’t going to survive his catastrophically exploding Trump-Russia scandal, Pence now is facing a huge problem of his own – and it’s about to get much worse for him.
The arrest of Donald Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort was already a huge problem for Mike Pence. For reasons known only to them, Pence and Manafort were regularly communicating by phone while Pence was in charge of the Trump transition team, for reasons that could not have been above-board. Actually those reasons may also be known to investigators, as Manafort was under wiretap surveillance during that same timeframe; it’s not known if the phone calls between Manafort and Pence were picked up. Now that the legal system is about to pick Manafort to pieces, his weird secret connection to Pence may become public. However, Pence is about to face an entirely different problem.
The arrest of Michael Flynn is now reportedly imminent. During the transition period, Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings sent a letter to Mike Pence, informing him that Flynn was taking dirty money from foreign governments. Pence ignored this letter and, in his role as head of the transition team, allowed Flynn to be named National Security Adviser anyway. When Flynn’s Russian connections were later exposed, Pence lied on national television just to protect Flynn.
Michael Flynn’s arrest will set his criminal case in motion, and in the process it should expose the real reason Mike Pence was covering for Flynn all along. If Pence was actively trying to cover up Flynn’s crimes – and it sure looks like he was – then it’s difficult to imagine Pence surviving. It’s entirely possible that Donald Trump could be ousted, Pence could inherit the presidency, and then Pence could be ousted not long after.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report