How Can Mike Pence Demand a Plausible Denial of His Relationship With Ukraine?
As reported by the Washington Post this week, US officials allege that President Trump has repeatedly tried to involve Vice President Mike Pence in his relationship with Ukraine, including “using Pence” to withhold aid until Joe Biden is dealt with. more thorough investigation of corruption.
In an attempt to get him out of the investigation, aides to the vice president said Pence simply did not know what kind of “corruption” Trump was talking about, among other examples of plausible denials.
But what is plausible denial?
What plausible denial?
It’s pretty simple: if you state a plausible denial, you are stating that you cannot be held accountable for your own (or someone else’s) actions because you did not know all the evidence or details – whether it was intentional or not. ( The Washington Post called the plausible denial “a politician’s best friend.”)
One example would be, say, a president who retweeted a conspiracy theory on Twitter only to refuse and declare that these are not necessarily his thoughts, but the thoughts of a “respected” expert.
And yes, that could be considered legal protection. During his tenure, President Ronald Reagan avoided charges over the arms-swap scandal with Iran by relying heavily on “I don’t remember” in his arguments.
What does Pence’s team say?
According to the Washington Post , Pence’s aides say the vice president did not pressure the Ukrainian president and did not know that “corruption” meant a specific Biden investigation.
His aides also claim that despite the fact that one of Pence’s aides overheard Trump’s conversation with the Ukrainian president on July 25, the call “never returned” to the vice president. It was also confirmed that Pence received the transcript of the telephone conversation prior to his meeting with the Ukrainian president in September, but did not “read” or “fully record” it.
So is it possible that he doesn’t know anything?
Unless the vice president forgot to read a very important transcript before a very important meeting or ask simple questions like, “Hey, what’s the matter with corruption?” he must be held accountable for his part in putting pressure on Ukraine to investigate the Biden case. (As New York Mag notes, during a September 2 press conference, Pence seemed to connect “corruption” with Joe Biden when asked about his meeting with Ukraine, perhaps revealing all of his arguments for plausible denial.)
Want to know where we are going from here? On Wednesday, House Democrats threatened to sue the White House for any reports by Pence regarding Trump’s July call to Ukraine. As of Thursday, Democrats are currently investigating Pence and his involvement in Ukraine.