Donald Trump involved Vice President Mike Pence in his efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate former vice president Joe Biden.
President Trump repeatedly involved Vice President Pence in efforts to exert pressure on the leader of Ukraine at a time when the president was using other channels to solicit information that he hoped would be damaging to a Democratic rival, current and former U.S. officials said.
Trump instructed Pence not to attend the inauguration of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in May — an event White House officials had pushed to put on the vice president’s calendar — when Ukraine’s new leader was seeking recognition and support from Washington, the officials said.
Months later, the president used Pence to tell Zelensky that U.S. aid was still being withheld while demanding more aggressive action on corruption, officials said. At that time — following Trump’s July 25 phone call with Zelenksy — the Ukrainians probably understood action on corruption to include the investigation of former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
Trump has been trying to throw Pence under the bus since this scandal broke. Trump suggested that Congress investigate Pence’s phone calls with Ukraine. The Ukraine scandal is turning out to be an administration-wide effort to dig up dirt on Joe Biden.
If Pence was involved, he also should be impeached. The same goes for Attorney General William Barr and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Pence has spent the Trump presidency trying to play the innocent vice president who is on the outside, but the reality is much different. Pence was in the middle of a number of troubling questions about the Russia scandal. Pence was the head of Trump’s presidential transition team.
The country can’t have a vice president replace Trump who is knee-deep in the same scandal that could lead to the president’s removal. If Trump goes, Pence needs to follow him out the door, as the impeachments may not stop with Donald Trump.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association