Throughout the investigation into Donald Trump’s Russia scandal, one of the key questions has been how Mike Pence would handle the probe, and what his fate would be with regard to his own role in the scandal. Pence seems to think the scandal is going to make him president. Some legal scholars think Pence will be impeached for it alongside Trump. Now we know where Pence himself stands: he’s been selling out Trump by proactively cooperating with the Russia investigation for months.
Pence had his attorney request a meeting with Special Counsel Robert Mueller this summer, just to spell out how eager he was to cooperate with the investigation, according to a new Politico report (link). This meeting is just coming to light now, and it’s not difficult to see why Pence’s camp would have wanted it to remain a secret. Pence’s eagerness to cooperate with the probe means that he’s more than willing to help take Trump down. But there are still two scenarios here.
In the early months of the scandal, Mike Pence was seen routinely lying to try to cover it up. At the time this suggested that he felt his best move was to try to help keep the scandal under wraps, which in turn suggested that he had been far more involved in the scandal itself than anyone knew. But something has since clearly changed. At some point during the summer, Pence appears to have changed his mind, and decided that his best move was to side with Mueller.
This doesn’t mean that Mike Pence will end up becoming president once Donald Trump is ousted, or even that Pence will be off the hook legally. Depending on just how deep of a role he may have played in Trump-Russia collusion during the campaign, he may simply be looking for leniency. Either way, Donald Trump now knows Pence has been going behind his back with Mueller for months – so things are about to get very ugly between them.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report