Donald Trump‘s phone call with Urkaine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky sparked the current impeachment probe into his reported actions. The president’s critics suggest he used military aid as leverage to push Zelensky to dig up dirt on Joe Biden, while his supporters say there was no quid pro quo in their conversation. Regardless, if bribery was indeed a factor in the call, Vice President Mike Pence‘s role in the scandal is still unclear.
In an op-ed for Newsweek, novelist Greg Olear suggests Pence knew about all of Trump’s alleged Ukraine activity.
Olear highlights that Pence either read or was given a transcript of the controversial call and met with Zelensky in Warsaw. He also adds that Pence had his own call with the Ukrainian president, which the American public has yet to see a transcript of — despite Pence saying he had “no objection” to releasing it.
Although Pence has assured that he is innocent and claims that his meetings with Zelensky were “focused entirely” on issues of concern raised by Trump — such as the “real issues of corruption” facing Ukraine and a lack of support for the country from European partners — Olear says his assurance “rings hollow.”
Olear also highlighted the many people that reportedly knew of Trump’s alleged intentions with Ukraine, including Bill Taylor, Fiona Hill, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, Tim Morrison, Gordon Sondland, John Eisenberg, Mike Pompeo, Rick Perry, Rudy Giuliani, and John Bolton. The 46-year-old then asks how it is possible that Pence could not have known.
“It’s not like Mike Pence is the poster boy for telling the truth. He’s lied before to cover Trump’s shady dealings—as in his January 2017 appearance on ‘Face the Nation,’ when John Dickerson asked him if anyone on the Trump campaign had meetings with Russians. ‘Of course not’ was his indignant—and mendacious—reply.”
On Sept. 2 — just a few days after reports that the aid to Ukraine was being held and one day after Pence met with Zelensky — here's Volker coaching Ukraine's defense minister on how to shake the aid loose pic.twitter.com/B0mKW9KTLq
— Hayes Brown (@HayesBrown) November 5, 2019
Oleary also points to convicted felon Paul Manafort’s insistence that Pence was reportedly hired for the vice president role over Newt Gingrich and Chris Christie, the men Trump “personally preferred.”
As The Inquisitr previously reported, if Trump is impeached and removed from office, Pence is next up to be president. But if Pence is also swept up into the scandal and removed from his position, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would be next in line.
That possibility prompted writers Robert Atkins and Adam Frankel to suggest that preparation for the turn of events is necessary. The pair pointed to the resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew, which opened the door to the chance that Richard Nixon would resign or be impeached, and place House Speaker Carl Albert in the position of president. Due to this possibility, Ted Sorensen, a speechwriter and adviser to former president John F. Kennedy, wrote a memo to Albert offering suggestions on how to best deal with the scenario.