For the most part, Mike Pence has remained silent and nearly invisible during the course of the ongoing investigation into the 2016 election. That’s probably by design, because Pence realizes he doesn’t want to sully his holier-than-thou reputation for being above such matters as treason and conspiracy with an adversarial foreign power.
And it’s Pence’s prior silence that makes his comments earlier this week so unnerving while at the same time suggesting that the vice president is getting very nervous:
During an interview on the Today show, Pence was asked about the probe being conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. He replied:
“In the interests of the country, I think it’s time to wrap it up. And I would very respectfully encourage the special counsel and his team to bring their work to completion.”
While it would be tempting to say that Pence is merely being loyal to Donald Trump, that would only tell half of the story. The other half is much more terrifying for the VP, because he too is potentially guilty of numerous federal crimes.
Jed Shugerman of Slate notes that Pence is, at the very least, a key witness in Russiagate, and will have to take his turn before a grand jury. But there’s more than just testimony at stake here:
“Given what we know about the investigation and Pence’s role in it, the vice president is likely being considered a witness at the very least and has the high potential to be considered a subject, or even a target. Given the facts, Pence’s call for an end to the investigation should be read as a callous political ploy and perhaps as a self-interested effort to ensure that evidence of his own potentially criminal role in this scandal does not see the light of day.”
Consider these irrefutable facts about Pence’s involvement in the Russia conspiracy:
- He was chairman of the Trump transition team. The co-chair? Michael Flynn.
- Pence signed off on Flynn being named National Security Adviser.
- Pence denied the Russia probe had anything to do with the firing of FBI Director James Comey. Not long afterwards, Trump admitted he had dismissed Comey because of “this Russia thing.”
Based on those facts alone, we can accurately suggest that Pence is potentially guilty of:
- Participation in obstruction of justice
- Aiding and abetting
- Misprision of a felony (i.e. knowing of a crime and failing to report it to the proper authorities)
Mike Pence thinks God has ordained him to step into the breach if and when Trump resigns or is impeached. But the only role it appears he’ll be filling is as a defendant in an upcoming indictment with his name on it. Pence’s goose is just as cooked as the Donald’s, and now the Veep is trying to put up a rhetorical smokescreen to cover his tracks. Rest assured he isn’t fooling Robert Mueller.