Vice President Mike Pence has a big problem. No wait, scratch that, Pence has two big problems. One is that he’s been tied to Paul Manafort in the Trump-Russia scandal, and Manafort is currently under house arrest awaiting trial. The other more immediate problem is that he’s also been tied to Michael Flynn in the Trump-Russia scandal, and Flynn is negotiating a plea deal to rat out everyone as we speak. Now Pence finds himself in a situation which can only end badly for him.
It’s still unknown what role, if any, Mike Pence played in the collusion between the Donald Trump campaign and Russia. However, Pence subsequently bent over backward to mislead and lie in the name of protecting Michael Flynn after it was revealed that Flynn was illegally on the take from foreign governments. At the least, Pence obstructed justice in the name of trying to make a scandal go away for his administration. His actions also raise suspicion that he might have been in on the collusion to begin with, thus prompting his eagerness to help cover it up. In any case, Flynn is about to spill his guts – and the ugly truth about Pence’s role is about to come out.
Michael Flynn isn’t even the only witness Mike Pence has to worry about. When Pence was running the Trump transition team, he regularly had phone calls with Paul Manafort, even though by that time Manafort had been officially off the Trump team for several months. We don’t know what was discussed in those phone calls, and Manafort doesn’t appear to have any interest in cooperating. However, there was a FISA surveillance warrant against Manafort during this timeframe, meaning Pence was probably caught on that wiretap – and if so, Special Counsel Robert Mueller already has it.
This leaves Mike Pence in a no-win situation in which he can’t do anything but sit back and wait to see whether Michael Flynn’s testimony or Paul Manafort’s wiretap finishes him off first. Many have assumed that Pence will inherit the presidency once the Trump-Russia scandal inevitably forces Donald Trump out of office. However, at this rate, even if Pence does manage to last long enough to assume the office, he won’t last long before he’s engulfed by his own role in the scandal.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report