If Vice President Mike Pence hoped to keep his distance from Donald Trump's intensifying scandal, this week's developments were unforgiving. The Washington Post reported on Wednesday night that the president "repeatedly involved" the Indiana Republican "in efforts to exert pressure on the leader of Ukraine."
As we discussed, the timeline of events paints an exceedingly unflattering picture, featuring a vice president making an unpersuasive case that he was ignorant about Trump's scheme, despite having ample access to the relevant information.
Yesterday, Pence was in Arizona, where he seemed eager to lean into the scandal, rather than distance himself from it, apparently because he no longer has much of a choice.
"I think the American people have a right to know if the Vice President of the United States or his family profited from this position as Vice President during the last administration. [...]I mean, the simple fact is that, you know, when you hold the second highest office in the land, it comes with unique responsibilities -- not just to be above impropriety, but to be above the appearance of impropriety. And clearly, in this case, there are legitimate questions that ought to be asked. And we're going to continue to ask them since the American people have a right to know whether or not the Vice President of the United States or his family profited from his position."
Pence made the comments just a month after his trip to Ireland, where he had meetings in Dublin, but stayed several hours away at a Trump-owned property on the other side of the country. The American president "suggested" Pence stay at the Republican's hotel, indirectly helping Trump profit from the vice president's trip.
There is, meanwhile, no evidence whatsoever of wrongdoing on Joe Biden's part.
Echoing Trump, Pence added yesterday, "The president made it very clear that he believes our other nations around the world should look into" Biden-related allegations.
Or put another way, Pence has replaced his obliviousness posture with a more definitive embrace of Trump's impeachable scheme.
The vice president went on to say, "Anyone that looks at the president's transcript will see that Trump was raising issues [with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky] that were appropriate, that were of genuine interest to the American people."
I can only assume that Pence is counting on the public being so ignorant of current events that we won't know how foolish this is.