If you’ve been wondering which member of Donald Trump’s White House or administration would be the first to retain outside counsel in response to Donald Trump’s accelerating Russia scandal, it turns out the answer is remarkably far up the chain. In a startling development, Vice President Mike Pence has now lawyered up.
Mike Pence has hired his own attorney to personally represent him in the Russia scandal, according to a Washington Post report (link). This comes after two major developments over the past week which both pointed to Pence facing potential legal trouble in tandem with Trump’s mounting legal troubles.
The first was when former FBI Director James Comey publicly testified that Mike Pence had known since early on that Michael Flynn had illicit foreign ties. This helped confirm that Pence lied when he vouched for Flynn (link), which tacitly raised the question of whether Pence may have committed obstruction of justice in the process. Then came the confirmation last night that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is officially investigating Donald Trump for obstruction of justice, which in turn suggests that everyone in the Trump administration may also be investigated for the same. Pence began exploring weeks ago whether to hire an attorney, but finally pulled the trigger today.
Even though Donald Trump’s own personal attorney took the bizarre step of inappropriately advising Trump’s White House staffers not to hire their own lawyers to represent them in the Russia scandal, this move by Pence may set off a domino effect. It wouldn’t be shocking to see most or all of the White House senior staff now lawyering up. Those outside attorneys will likely advise their clients to flip on Trump and testify against him with regard to any obstruction they witnessed or participated in, as doing so would be in their best legal interest. In the mean time, there’s no overstating the significance of the VP lawyering up himself. Are we looking at an eventual double impeachment?
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report