Apparently, Trump’s lawyer(s) have been volunteering, in the context of immunity, the exposure of the VPOTUS to indictment. Not much space under that bus.
Why does Donald Trump's legal team keep bringing making the unprompted point that a vice president can totally be prosecuted while in office?! (…wonders Mike Pence, probably.) pic.twitter.com/HE61R1NYfL
— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) October 24, 2019
However, it’ll be hard to prove Pence was engaged in self-dealing.
As the Ukraine story develops, the public focus has remained largely on wrongdoing by the president outside the realm of criminal law, focusing instead on President Trump’s apparent use of his office for personal gain. On one level, this makes sense: Impeachment is only about removal of the president from office, not about criminal prosecution and imprisonment. So the standards and processes for impeachment are different.
But it would be a mistake to ignore the criminal law entirely. Evidence of criminal misconduct, specifically, the federal bribery statute, should influence political judgments about impeachment. After all, “Bribery” is one of the grounds for impeachment specifically enumerated in the Constitution.
It is revealing that, when Trump escalated the pressure in July to withhold aid—something Giuliani could not do for him—Trump managed this through Mulvaney, as news reports have shown. He thus chose to bypass the national security adviser, John Bolton, and the National Security Council process. Again, this is evidence that the motives were essentially personal and not the design of a foreign policy move to help Ukraine.
"An official can actually be guilty of bribery by merely agreeing to do something. That is enough. They don't have to actually do it…the Supreme Court ruled that unanimously in a recent case," @AriMelber says (4/5) pic.twitter.com/BZMzTQwmqm
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) October 24, 2019
But of course…
Trump Threatens to Veto Bill on Foreign Influence in Elections https://t.co/qPSwwE6bJA
— Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) October 24, 2019
Laura Cooper of the DoD was the House witness today.
Source notes that both ways require notice to Congress.
— Olivia Beavers (@Olivia_Beavers) October 24, 2019
Today’s testimony, however abbreviated by the GOP flash mob, included getting further testimony on how military aid funding can be put on hold where congressional rescission or department reallocation are only legally possible, but in this case, executive action may be involved (see Mick Mulvaney who is also OMB head).
Darn those process crimes, especially when Trump confessed on Wednesday morning to withholding military aid in this tweet: