If perhaps Vice President Mike Pence was quietly waiting for the impeachment of President Trump so he could become head of state, a law professor said Friday evening that a new memo suggests Pence himself may now be in jeopardy of being impeached, too.
Law professor Jed Shugerman of Fordham University told MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell that reports from both the New York Times and Washington Post of a draft memo written by Trump prior to his firing of former FBI Director James Comey are very bad news for Pence:
“Let me explain why this timeline puts him in legal jeopardy. So, we know that this letter was drafted on one day, and then after Steven Miller came back with that draft, it was read in a room of people, including Vice President Pence. And when that letter was read, it had, quote, The New York Times talks about a screed, and it identified all of these other connections to the Russian probe for why Trump had decided to fire Jim Comey. Then after this letter is edited, Mike Pence then tells the media that the Comey firing was not connected to the Russian probe, and he said it was due to Rod Rosenstein’s recommendation. Those statements are untrue.”
As a result, Shugerman added, Pence is now open to multiple charges, all of which could lead to him being removed from office. He could be implicated:
“In a combination of conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice, aiding and abetting obstruction of justice, and also a relatively less known felony called misprision of a felony.”
Misprision of a felony is defined as:
“Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.”
In other words, anyone who has knowledge of a felony and tries to conceal that information instead of reporting it to authorities can be charged with misprision of a felony.
Pence could also be guilty of concealing information regarding the vetting of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Pence was head of the transition team that vetted Flynn, yet he later claimed he didn’t know Flynn had accepted money from foreign governments. Flynn was later fired by President Trump when it was revealed he had accepted money from both Russia and Turkey
Given this new information, Pence might not want to start making plans for a move to the Oval Office anytime soon.
Here’s Professor Shugerman on The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell:
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org