Mike Pence’s recent disappearing act is a signal that he believes if he lays sufficiently low during the latter days of the Trump-Russia scandal, Donald Trump will get ousted from office and he’ll inherit the presidency by default. Pence, however, wasn’t counting on getting caught up in the scandal himself. He’s long quietly been in some Trump-Russia trouble. After yesterday’s revelations, he’s completely screwed.
We now know that Donald Trump Jr was in regular contact with WikiLeaks during the election, with regard to emails that had supposedly been stolen from Hillary Clinton. We also know that WikiLeaks informed several key members of the Trump campaign via email that it was communicating with Trump Jr. As the entire inner circle of the campaign knew about it, it’s now impossible to believe that Mike Pence was the only one who didn’t know. That means Pence has a problem, because shortly afterward, he explicitly told the public that he was not aware of any communications between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks.
Getting caught lying to the public is a bad thing in general, but not illegal. Getting caught lying to the public, in an attempt to mislead federal investigators, is obstruction of justice. Mike Pence already tainted himself in early 2017 when he went on television and claimed he had no knowledge of Michael Flynn’s financial relationships with foreign governments. Congress had already informed him of Flynn’s relationship with Turkey in late 2016.
So now Mike Pence will be stuck trying to fend off two entirely different instances of lying about his knowledge of the Donald Trump campaign’s communications with Russia. If this guy does inherit the presidency once Trump is ousted, he’ll either spend it trying to fend off his own role in the Trump-Russia scandal, or he’ll eventually end up getting ousted himself.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report