Gage Skidmore / Flickr trump and pence...
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Liars eventually get hoisted by their own petard and it looks like the jig is up for Mike Pence. Law Professor Jed Shugerman was a guest on Lawrence O’Donnell’s show Friday and he explained the “original memo” written by Steven Miller which was the source of stories by both the New York Times and the Washington Post. Shugerman told O’Donnell that Mike Pence is in legal jeopardy and explained why:

“Let me explain why this timeline puts him in legal jeopardy,” Shugerman began. “So, we know that this letter was drafted on one day, and then after Steven Miller came back with that draft, it was read in a room of people, including Vice President Pence. And when that letter was read, it had, quote, The New York Times talks about a screed, and it identified all of these other connections to the Russian probe for why Trump had decided to fire Jim Comey. Then after this letter is edited, Mike Pence then tells the media that the Comey firing was not connected to the Russian probe, and he said it was due to Rod Rosenstein’s recommendation. Those statements are untrue.”

Mike Pence told an untruth. And what an untruth. An untruth that made this Fordham University School of Law Professor declare that the letter

“implicates Mike Pence now in a combination of conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice, aiding and abetting obstruction of justice, and also a relatively less known felony called misprision of a felony, which is when someone has knowledge of a felony and then conceals and does not make it known to the legal authorities.”

Shugarman also shot out of the water the theory that Trump’s attorneys are pushing that Trump has the power to fire Comey, therefore doing so can’t be obstruction of justice. Sugarman says that’s not true.

“That basic argument is so wrong that it shows why there’s so little that the Trump lawyers have to argue,” Shugerman said. “A president has the power to order a military strike, but if the president is ordering that military strike with the intent of, let’s say, killing someone who slept with his wife, that’s still murder. A president can pardon someone, but if the president pardons someone because he received a million dollar bribe, that’s still a felony of bribery. Just because the president has the power to do something, it doesn’t mean that it excuses any exercise of that power because intent matters.”

It’s going to be wonderful to hear Mike Pence try and lie his way out of this one.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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