Every couple of weeks since Donald Trump became president, the scandals, the mini and the major, besetting his administration reach a point where people start talking about the ascendance of Vice President Mike Pence to the highest office in the land. This week’s set of controversies, including reports that President Trump was considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller, has led to an increase (again) in speculation that it won’t be long until Trump is either forced to resign or undergo impeachment proceedings that will surely see his ouster from the Oval Office. More damning, the top ethics lawyer to former President George W. Bush took to Twitter to predict if Trump actually fired Mueller, Americans would “soon” be calling Mike Pence president.
The Hill reported Saturday that ex-Bush ethics lawyer Richard Painter, just after appearing on Fox News, posted to his Twitter account the prediction that if Donald Trump fires Robert Mueller, he would not last much longer as president. “Just appeared on FOX News,” he posted. “They are building a case for firing Mueller. If that happens Mike Pence will soon become the 46th President.”
Trump has already come under intense scrutiny for firing FBI director James Comey, an act that led to accusations that President Trump did so because Comey refused to drop his investigation into the alleged Russian tampering with the 2016 presidential election. The debate was then on as to whether or not Trump should be charged with obstruction of justice. Even Sen. John McCain (R – Ariz.) compared the expanding Russian connection scandal to the Watergate cover-up scandal that saw President Richard Nixon ultimately resign. And just a few days after Comey’s firing, which Trump admitted publicly was at least partially prompted by the Russian collusion investigation, it was revealed that the president was considering firing Mueller, a former FBI director himself.
As The Hill reported, Mueller was appointed special counsel last month to head the Russian election tampering probe to bi-partisan support, but the Trump administration and its supporters have in recent days begun questioning Mueller’s impartiality in conducting his investigation. It has been cited that Mueller may have conflicts of interest in his friendship with Comey and his decision to hire prosecutors who have donated to Democratic candidates.
But the continuing scandals and unpopular policy decisions have Americans increasingly seeing the president in an unfavorable light. At the beginning of June, Newsweek reported that Trump’s job approval rating was lower than the percentage of Americans who want to see him impeached.
The talk of Donald Trump’s impeachment or resignation has gotten to the point that there is speculation as to who Mike Pence will choose as his vice president once he is ushered in as the new president. The frontrunners thus far, according to Axios, seem to be current Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R – Wisc.), former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, and ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.
[Featured Image by Lynne Sladky/AP Images]