Mike Pence Will Be ‘Finished In Politics’ If He Pardons Donald Trump, Commentator Says
As Donald Trump’s presidency comes to an end while he faces possible criminal charges after leaving office, some have speculated that he will resign and seek a pardon from Mike Pence, who would temporarily take his position in the White House. According to commentator Bill Palmer, Pence would destroy his political career by going along with this plan.
“It’s possible Trump will resign for a Pence pardon. But if Pence does it, he’ll be finished in politics. No guarantee he’s willing to play that game. And it won’t affect whatever New York State is doing,” he tweeted early Thursday morning.
Pence has reportedly had presidential ambitions for some time. Per NBC News, Barry Bennett, a Republican strategist who worked for Trump’s 2016 campaign, claimed that the end of the U.S. leader’s term means the vice president will begin to position himself for such a role.
“What happened in the House tells us that the president’s policies were quite popular. His personality, obviously, was not helpful with some voters But if Pence can run on the policies and not have the baggage of the image problem, he’ll do quite well.”
NBC News noted that Trump himself is considering a 2024 presidential run, which could complicate the aspirations of Pence and other GOP presidential hopefuls. Nevertheless, Bennett suggested that the outgoing head of state will not likely run again and expressed hope that Pence would make a play for the White House.
As reported by The Hill, New York Attorney General Letitia James predicted on The View on Tuesday that Trump would resign and seek a pardon from Pence. As the publication noted, this hypothetical scenario was outlined in a 1974 Department of Justice memo. According to the memo, Trump could not offer himself a pardon — although debate around this subject continues amid a lack of precedent.
Columnist Brent Budowsky previously argued that a pardon would help minimize Trump’s legal problems and make it easier for him to deal with state investigations, which clemency would not protect him from. Per NPR, James is currently conducting a civil investigation into Trump’s businesses, which the publication noted could become a criminal probe depending on what evidence is unearthed.
Although Trump could face significant legal issues, it would not be the first time he faced such problems.
“It’s a potential avalanche,” said Kim Wehle, a former federal prosecutor and law professor. “But this is, again, a man that is very used to using the legal system to his advantage.”