Ever since the Ukraine scandal first broke late last year, Vice President Mike Pence has kept a very low profile, with few public appearances or interviews. It’s almost like he’s hoping we’ll forget that he too played a role in the Ukraine bribery plot which has led to Donald Trump becoming only the third president impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors.
But newly redacted documents uncovered by Just Security, witness statements from individuals who testified before the House Intelligence Committee as part of the impeachment inquiry, and a letter from a Department of Defense official, make it clear that Pence was at the very center of the Ukraine crimes, as MSNBC host Rachel Maddow laid out on her show Monday evening:
“We now know that after all those weeks of consternation and conflict and concern and CYA inside the administration, we know right before Vice President Pence went and took this meeting at the highest levels of the Defense Department, the chief of staff to the Secretary of Defense was reassuring other officials inside the Pentagon, ‘Oh, don’t worry. This is all going to be over soon. When Mike Pence takes that meeting with (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelensky on Tuesday, it’s all going to get sorted.’ Why did he think it was all going to get sorted?”
Pence was the conduit for the promised meeting between the administration and President Zelensky, and that places him squarely at the apex of the bribery scheme the White House was attempting to rook Ukraine into, i.e. trading military aid for investigations of the Biden family.
Maddow then continued her recitation of the facts that implicate VP Pence:
“So it was Mike Pence who was supposed to personally get the assurance from the Ukrainian government at that meeting that they were going to announce the investigations? Because that was the deal, right? That’s what everybody was waiting on. They can’t get the military aid until they announce the investigations. ‘Don’t worry, they’ll be able to get the military aid as soon as Mike Pence has that meeting.’”
In criminal conspiracy terms, Pence was to be the “bag man” who conveyed the terms of the deal to Ukraine and was to then report back to Trump that the Ukrainians were investigating the Bidens as per the quid pro quo the president had set out when he spoke to President Zelensky on the phone back in July of last year.
Mike Pence is just as guilty as Donald Trump. An impeachment inquiry needs to be launched into his actions, too.