Conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin on Sunday predicted that President Donald Trump would resign the presidency in order to get a pardon from Vice President Mike Pence.
Rubin explained that Trump
“…risks being prosecuted after he leaves office. For that very reason, I would predict here on MSNBC that when Trump leaves office, he will resign the presidency 10 minutes before Mike Pence leaves office, allowing Pence to pardon him.”
“Wow!” MSNBC guest host Jonathan Capehart replied. “We got that on tape.”
The Justice Department on Friday suggested that Trump is a felon after court filings revealed he instructed his former fixer Michael Cohen to violate campaign finance laws.
Trump is also ensnared in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump’s connection to Russian efforts to rig the 2016 presidential election and for obstruction of justice.
There are additional probes by the Southern District of New York into Trump’s company and charity for tax evasion and money laundering.
Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe concurs with Rubin.
That’d be my bet as well — unless Trump resigns or is removed sooner.https://t.co/qK8gppkhZo via rawstory
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) December 10, 2018
But people were not here for it.
That’s a depressing thought. We CANNOT let him get away with the INNUMERABLE crimes he has committed against America! We cannot set a precedent that there are no consequences when you try to establish an authoritarian regime!
— 2becourageous (@2becourageous1) December 10, 2018
How did that work out for Nixon?
That's what Ford did for Nixon. Nixon wasn't convicted of anything, but Ford pardoned him proactively.
— sakumar (@sanjaya_kumar) December 10, 2018
And people found a hole in the theory: Pence may not be safe from Mueller either.
Since we're speculating – something legal pundits often criticize ordinary people for doing – why do legal pundits never consider that Pence may be indicted first?? He was chosen by Putin & installed through Manafort. He communicated with Russia as head of Trump Transition team.
— Puesto Loco™ (@PuestoLoco) December 10, 2018
I hoping Pence is under the redactions.
Ading and Abetting.
— Sandra Pryor (@alwaysDemocrat7) December 10, 2018
This doesn’t work if Pence is indicted first.
— ProfHelen (@Helenhs) December 10, 2018
But isn't Pence still on the Mueller fence right now? He's part of the transition team and the Flynn debacle…
— Laurie Wandell (@JustLaurie40) December 10, 2018
So there’s a solution:
Well then as cynical a play as that is ( and I, too, believe he will do it) …. Pence needs to be indicted and removed from office first without giving 45 enough time to re-appoint someone who will pardon him.
— Chris Robbins (@CoopRobiani) December 10, 2018
Which is exactly why Pence will be removed first, to thwart Russia's plans (Manafort pushed Pence as VP at urging of Deripaska-Putin). Mueller has him nailed on his mis-statements regarding Flynn in 2016 and 2017. @tribelaw
— Peter J. Clark (@pondbridge) December 9, 2018
Or perhaps Pence is not quite as loyal as Trump thinks:
Wouldn't it be funny if Pence said, "No thanks. I've carried water for you all this time. I don't see the need to sully my reputation any further."
— Pleasantly Pink (@ReginaRed4) December 9, 2018
Pence was hand-picked by Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chair with deep ties to Russia, who in August was convicted of multiple felonies. Last month, Manafort was busted for lying to prosecutors and feeding information back to the Trump administration while under investigation.
Others say Pence pardoning Trump would be politically very stupid and that a pardon would not shield Trump from facing prosecution for state crimes.