It's been a whirlwind on Capitol Hill since Nancy Pelosi revealed that the House would be starting an official impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Sept. 24, and things are only continuing to heat up. With the fate of Trump's presidency up in the air and his righthand man Mike Pence next in line for the presidency, you might be wondering: Can a vice president be impeached? Here's the line of presidential succession and how Pence might be involved.
According to Article 2 and Section 4 of the Constitution, the president and "all civil officers" of the United States are subject to impeachment, including Supreme Court Justices and yes, the vice president. As for the president, causes for impeachment include "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors," so Pence would have to be implicated of these crimes in order to be subject to an impeachment inquiry. Elite Daily reached out to Pence’s rep for comment on the presidential impeachment inquiry, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
If this happened, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi would be next in line to lead the country from the Oval Office. That being said, no vice president has actually ever been impeached before, so it would be a novelty if it happens even if the Senate votes to impeach Trump, which is unlikely.
Pence's name is being brought up more recently due to a House request into specific documentation that may connect Pence to the Ukrainian call. On Friday, Oct. 4, the heads of the House Intelligence, Oversight, and Foreign Affairs committees turned their focus to the vice president, asking him to turn over documents relating to records of the July phone call between Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky that he may have seen, a report from a member of his staff who was reportedly on the call, and the separate in-person meeting that Pence had with Zelensky while in Warsaw.
According to the letter, which was also released to the media on Friday, the vice president is believed to have spoken to the Ukrainian president about the United States' hold of about $400 million in aid to the country during the conversation and may have played a part in "conveying or reinforcing the president's stark message to the Ukrainian president."
While the vice president's rep didn't immediately respond to Elite Daily's request for comment, Katie Waldman, the vice president's press secretary, said in a statement to NBC:
The Office of the Vice President received the letter after it was released to the media and it has been forwarded to Counsel’s Office for a response. Given the scope, it does not appear to be a serious request but just another attempt by the Do Nothing Democrats to call attention to their partisan impeachment.
Pence has previously told reporters that during the conversation, they discussed the "issues that President Trump has raised as a concern, namely the lack of support from European partners for Ukraine and real issues of corruption in Ukraine."
Now that Trump's right-hand man is embroiled in the controversy and is next in line in the unlikely event that the Republican-controlled Senate decides to impeach the president and remove him from office, onlookers may be wondering whether Pence could face implications if he was also involved.
Still, Pence has until Oct. 15 to send these reported documents to the appropriate committees, so the public will know more about the situation in the coming weeks.