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 (@Laurence Tribe)1544406052.0
But people were not here for it.
@tribelaw That’s a depressing thought. We CANNOT let him get away with the INNUMERABLE crimes he has committed agai… https://t.co/NBdXf9C7m3— 2becourageous (@2becourageous)1544406569.0
How did that work out for Nixon?
@tjoselow @tribelaw That's what Ford did for Nixon. Nixon wasn't convicted of anything, but Ford pardoned him proactively.— sakumar (@sakumar)1544410490.0
And people found a hole in the theory: Pence may not be safe from Mueller either.
@tribelaw Since we're speculating – something legal pundits often criticize ordinary people for doing – why do lega… https://t.co/lqjRE44ffU— Puesto Loco™ (@Puesto Loco™)1544412122.0
@tribelaw I hoping Pence is under the redactions. He knew. Ading and Abetting.— Sandra Pryor (@Sandra Pryor)1544406741.0
@tribelaw @jagne_r This doesn’t work if Pence is indicted first.— ProfHelen (@ProfHelen)1544443022.0
@tribelaw But isn't Pence still on the Mueller fence right now? He's part of the transition team and the Flynn debacle...— Laurie Wandell (@Laurie Wandell)1544407391.0
So there's a solution:
@tribelaw Well then as cynical a play as that is ( and I, too, believe he will do it) .... Pence needs to be indict… https://t.co/StshDB0tWI— Chris Robbins (@Chris Robbins)1544407717.0
@DearAuntCrabby @crooksandliars Which is exactly why Pence will be removed first, to thwart Russia's plans (Manafor… https://t.co/LgSyZQehuF— Peter J. Clark (@Peter J. Clark)1544385595.0
Or perhaps Pence is not quite as loyal as Trump thinks:
@DearAuntCrabby @crooksandliars Wouldn't it be funny if Pence said, "No thanks. I've carried water for you all thi… https://t.co/SGwc41iFCp— Pleasantly Pink (@Pleasantly Pink)1544391859.0
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.
@tribelaw Pence is a terrible person to be president but I think he’d view that as political suicide. Not that ther… https://t.co/g4T1v46k9c— (((Joseph Telegen))) (@(((Joseph Telegen))))1544406196.0
@tribelaw Can't pardon state crimes.— #Residue4Bernie🌹 #WakandaForever🌹 (@#Residue4Bernie🌹 #WakandaForever🌹)1544416994.0
@tribelaw It won't keep the Southern District of New York from going after him.— WideAwake&Furious (@WideAwake&Furious)1544453625.0
Some, though, think Trump will not be in office long enough to get a pardon or win re-election.
Thanks to Mueller's document dump, Trump may be facing the prospect of impeachment.
@DearAuntCrabby @crooksandliars He won't make it that long. Reminds me of how we got married. Went to Vegas, marr… https://t.co/tQUJjpoq0C— JamBrady 🦋🌊🌊🌊 (@JamBrady 🦋🌊🌊🌊)1544385381.0
@my_carol @DearAuntCrabby @crooksandliars .... And this is the reason, though, they've been discussing replacing hi… https://t.co/kt8dQhIPzK— ℬ𝓡𝒜𝙕𐐁𝒩 𝓗𝕌𝑺𝑺𝓨 (@ℬ𝓡𝒜𝙕𐐁𝒩 𝓗𝕌𝑺𝑺𝓨)1544386652.0
@DearAuntCrabby @crooksandliars Your statement implies Pence will still be the VP. If things play out as they SHOUL… https://t.co/Jw27Riv3uy— Jensalittleballofhate#Resist (@Jensalittleballofhate#Resist)1544385910.0
@InspiringU2 I hope Trump is impeached before then to kill his pardon powers. Pence may not become potus, so I'm st… https://t.co/kGMIAVyHHD— 🌊 Stronger Together (@🌊 Stronger Together)1544448439.0
@InspiringU2 Impeach him and Pence!— Anabetta Schwartz (@Anabetta Schwartz)1544446686.0
Capehart added that presidential pardons require an admission of guilt, which is something Trump is unlikely to agree to.