It could be wishful thinking — but a few liberal pundits and activists are predicting that virulently anti-LGBTQ Vice President Mike Pence will be charged with wrongdoing in connection with the 2016 presidential election.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who’s investigating Russian interference in the election and possible collusion by Donald Trump’s campaign, released a heavily redacted sentencing memo Tuesday regarding former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. “The memo clearly states that the Trump transition team was heavily involved in Flynn’s illegal dealings with Russia,” writes PoliticusUSA commentator Leo Vidal. “And, as everyone now remembers, the person in charge of that transition team was none other than vice president-elect Mike Pence.”
“Michael Flynn committed numerous crimes, and Mike Pence did everything possible to cover up those crimes, possibly because he was implicated in them also,” Vidal continues. “In fact, Pence could face the same criminal charges that Mueller brought against Flynn.” Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about contacts with Russian officials and is cooperating with Mueller in the investigation.
Pence, Vidal writes, lied while defending Flynn to the public, and also probably lied to law enforcement. “It is very likely that the redacted portions of Mueller’s memo mention the name Mike Pence, and not in a good way,” he says.
Jon Cooper, chairman of the Democratic Coalition Against Trump, also predicts Pence will face criminal charges, as he expressed in a recent tweet.
As the story swirls of Michael Cohen’s guilty plea and how it further implicates Donald Trump in the #TrumpRussia scandal, one GOP source tells me to “keep an eye on Mike Pence.” What did the @VP know and when did he know it? It’s only a matter of time before the truth comes out.
— Jon Cooper (@joncoopertweets) November 30, 2018
Keeping an eye on Pence is a good idea, but no one on the outside really knows what’s going to come out of Mueller’s probe. Documents Mueller’s team released Friday concerning former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort and lawyer Michael Cohen allege that both lied about Russia contacts, The Washington Post reports. Also, Cohen has implicated the president in campaign finance violations regarding a payment made to keep adult-film star Stormy Daniels silent about a sexual encounter with Trump. “The plot thickened for Trump just a little bit,” the Post notes.
If it’s thickened for Trump, it may likewise thicken for Pence. Who knows — maybe Pence wasn’t involved in any dealings with Russia but was simply focused on shoring up Trump’s support among the Christian right, and then, once in office, urging the president to take oppressive actions against LGBTQ people, like barring transgender Americans from the military. But the Mueller investigation has been full of surprises, none of them good for Trump and his inner circle. We’ll be eagerly waiting for the next shoe to drop.