Reports indicate that the Republican from Indiana urged President Trump to not release the memo detailing his call with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky this week, despite media pressure to do so.
The call pertained to a questionable discussion about former Vice President and current Democratic frontrunner for the 2020 presidential elections, Joe Biden.
While Pence publically supported Trump every step of the way, it seems like privately he has been very concerned about what this could mean for the future.
Trump Felt it Was The Right Call
Trump promised early in the week to release the transcripts “at some point”, but was concerned about the precedent it set for other calls to foreign leaders. After talks of impeachment inquiries started to brew, however, he felt that he had no choice but to help move the media discussion in Republicans favors.
The “transcript” that was released Wednesday was less of a true transcript and more of a memo from the memories of those who listened to the call. According to the whistleblower report released yesterday, the Trump administration took all copies of the verbatim transcript and hid them on a secured server normally reserved for topics that involve national security.
This perhaps had the opposite effect that the White House wanted, however, because it did little to help stop the discussion of impeachment. This week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that they would be going forward with the impeachment inquiry.
If enough evidence is found, Trump will stand trial in front of the Senate. If found to have committed a crime of “Treason, Bribery or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors” (according to the constitution), Trump will be removed from office.
What This Impeachment Means for Pence
The good news for Pence is that according to all reports, Trump did not drop his name in the phone call with Zelensky. If Trump does go through the impeachment process and is removed from office, or if he chooses to go the Nixon route and resign before it gets to that point, Pence will be immediately sworn in as President of the United States for the rest of the term.
Pence, who made headlines in 2014 when he became almost solely responsible for an HIV outbreak in Indiana, is a big proponent of limited government, slashing Medicare, and reducing funding for programs like public education, Planned Parenthood, and climate change.
What this could mean for a Pence presidency, which would likely last less than a year, is unclear. We can only speculate how he would shape policy in such a short time, but it appears that until the end, he will not only publically support the president, but privately try to guide him.
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