On the heels of what many have considered damning live testimony by U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland against President Donald Trump, a former White House ethics lawyer said on Wednesday that Vice President Mike Pence should be impeached and removed from office if Trump is impeached and removed.
According to Newsweek, Richard Painter, who served as counsel in George W. Bush’s White House, demanded Senate Republicans vote to remove Trump from office in the wake of Sondland’s testimony in which he said there was, in fact, a quid pro quo on the phone call between Trump and the Ukrainian president.
“Sondland — in a last ditch effort to avoid going to the slammer for perjury — comes clean (at least partly). Trump is going down. Senate Republicans need to demand his resignation TODAY!” Painter tweeted.
Shortly after, in another tweet, Painter suggested Pence, who would then likely be the president if Trump were impeached and removed, should also be impeached and kicked out of the White House, pending investigation.
“In a few weeks the only open question should be whether the evidence is sufficient for President Pence to be impeached by the House and removed by the Senate,” Painter tweeted.
While Painter has a history of criticizing Trump and his administration, even demanding that Trump be impeached before the actual impeachment inquiry kicked off, the chances of Trump’s removal from office remain slim. While the Democrat-controlled House is likely to pass an impeachment vote in the near future, the measure will more than likely be shot down at the doorstep of the U.S. Senate, where some of Trump’s top Republican allies, such as Sen. Lindsey Graham, control the process.
Specifically, every Democrat and Independent in the Senate would need to vote in favor of impeachment. On top of that, Democrats would need 20 Republican senators to flip and vote for impeachment.
Because of that seemingly insurmountable roadblock for Democrats who want to see Trump removed from office, the chances of Pence’s eventual impeachment and removal from office are even more remote, short of an unprecedented change of loyalties in the GOP-controlled chamber.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Painter made headlines before the hoopla surrounding the impeachment inquiry skyrocketed, claiming at the time that the House wasn’t moving fast enough to get the impeachment process rolling.
“We can investigate the crimes of Donald Trump for the next four or five years, and if we do we will be going into a second term,” Painter said during an MSNBC interview.
Painter insisted at the time that unless House Democrats moved forward with impeachment sooner than later, the party would lose both the House and the White House in the 2020 election cycle.