Congressional Republicans in thrall to foreign donors — we have to assume at this point it’s at least a plurality of them — have a lot more to worry about with the subpoenas out of the Southern District of New York last night than just losing their figurehead Donald Trump. They could be losing their backup contingency as well, and if they thought the investigation into Trump would take place a little faster and that Pence might be President before last year’s midterms, they might be wiping away a few tears as they reckon with the reality of a President Nancy Pelosi.
If that seems like hyperbole, let’s reel it in a little while I walk you through it.
As you’ll remember, Pence was in charge of Trump’s transition team — the very reason that we believe the Vice President is being investigated by Mueller over his dealings with former national security advisor Mike Flynn. But Pence wasn’t the first person to head up that squad. That distinction belonged to former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. The Trump campaign had raised more than a hundred million dollars for his inaugural committee, but because Trump didn’t understand that he legally had to have a transition team, Christie was forced to fundraise even more money to pay the staffers they had to hire.
For background, Christie explained to the then-candidate that not only did he have to have a transition team, but that he would either have to pay for it himself or pull the money from campaign funds. That sent Trump into a rage, according to author Michael Lewis’ book, The Fifth Risk, and set the scene for advisor Steve Bannon to walk in on Trump screaming at Christie:
Trump was apoplectic, actually yelling, You’re stealing my money! You’re stealing my fucking money! What the fuck is this?? Seeing Bannon, Trump turned on him and screamed, Why are you letting him steal my fucking money? Bannon and Christie together set out to explain to Trump federal law. […] To which Trump replied, Fuck the law. I don’t give a fuck about the law. I want my fucking money. Bannon and Christie tried to explain that Trump couldn’t have both his money and a transition.
Shut it down, said Trump. Shut down the transition.”
Christie did not shut down the transition, and he was fired. To be clear, he was fired for not taking part in a scheme to allow Trump to keep all of that money. In fact, it can be inferred from the book that Trump actually admitted his intention to keep the money — and both Bannon and Christie could be called as witnesses to testify to that fact.
So along came a new transition leader, and lo and behold, the money is now in question. Did Mike Pence agree to Trump’s scheme?
There is absolutely no reason to doubt that the Southern District, having (for once) actually listed the crimes they intend to charge Trump and his family with, has proof that Pence was all in on the $107 million heist.
That could set the stage for the Department of Justice to actually indict the Vice President first — since there is still a lingering question about indicting a sitting President. But with Pence out of the way, we can’t help but imagine that Democrats would move swiftly to go ahead with impeachment after all.
Featured image via screen capture