Pence is Corrupt
In a normal White House, where graft, nepotism and deceit are the exception rather than the rule, Vice President Mike Pence wouldn’t be thought of as a squeaky clean choir boy. But the Trump administration, with its remarkable ability to produce a new scandal each day, is anything but normal.
Pence used private email to conduct state business despite criticizing Hillary Clinton for the same
That’s why Pence’s very own email scandal passed without notice. As governor of Indiana, Pence used an AOL email address to conduct official state business. When was asked to turn over the emails, he stonewalled. After months of fighting, he finally complied in August. The brazen behavior demonstrates both Pence’s opposition to transparency and his hypocrisy after months of hammering Hillary Clinton’s email issues. But coming out of Trump’s scandal-plagued White House, it received little attention.
Pence paid his mortgage and credit card bills with campaign donations
Pence benefitted from Trump’s ability to generate headlines during the campaign too. How else to explain the lack of coverage given to an egregious ethics violation in Pence’s past? In 1990, while running for Congress, Pence was busted paying his mortgage, credit card bills and car payments with campaign donations. Though it wasn’t illegal at the time, it was clearly unethical and it led the FEC to rewrite its rules on the personal use of campaign funds. But Pence defended his actions, which included paying for golf tournaments with donations, by telling reporters, “I’m not embarrassed that I need to make a living.”
Pence’s role in the Trump administration’s possible collusion with Russia is still murky
Pence may soon long for the days when reporters were asking about fleecing campaign donors, because his name keeps coming up in the investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with the Russian government. And even though names like Mike Flynn and Paul Manafort get more attention, Pence’s role in this torrid scandal should not be overlooked.
It was Pence, after all, who sat in front of a national TV audience and said former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn did not discuss easing sanctions with the Russian ambassador just as President Obama was levying those sanctions. That was later determined to be a lie. But blame fell on Flynn, who was fired for misleading the Vice President.
Pence is either incompetent, or a participant in a cover-up
Pence also says he only became aware of Flynn’s lobbying for a Turkish businessman in March of 2017. But that detail was passed to the Trump transition, which Pence ran, by multiple people well before inauguration day. So either Pence is an incompetent rube who didn’t ensure the incoming NSA wasn’t a foreign agent, or he’s covering something up.
If it’s the latter, it wouldn’t be the first time Pence appeared to take part in White House cover-up. Consider the May 9 firing of former FBI director James Comey, which Pence said had nothing to do with Russia. The next day Trump told NBC’s Lester Holt his real motivation for firing Comey was “this Russia thing.” Once again, a Pence public statement was proven false.
The evidence implicating Pence in the Russia scandal continues to mount and that’s bad news for his political ambitions. It’s widely believed that Pence has his sights set on the Oval Office. If Trump is impeached, there’s a chance Pence could land there without having to win an election. But with each new revelation in the Russia probe, it seems likely that if this scandal ends in Trump’s removal from the White House, Pence will be sent packing too.