Mike Pence Would Probably Just Pardon Donald Trump If He Was Impeached, GOP Strategist Says

Republican strategist Rick Tyler has suggested it would be better if President Donald Trump was voted out of office rather than impeached, as he would be subject to prosecution for "all crimes past" rather than offered a pardon from Mike Pence.

Trump is currently the subject of an impeachment inquiry announced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in September, following whistleblower allegations that claimed the president had asked a foreign leader to investigate a potential political rival.

Speaking in an interview on The Mike Lupica Podcast on Monday, Tyler was asked how he thought the impeachment inquiry would play out.

"In some ways I would rather see the American people vote him out of office overwhelmingly," Tyler told host Lupica.

"For one, it's much more satisfying, and two if he does get impeached and let's say the Senate does convict him—all that would mean is that he is removed from office. That would mean Mike Pence would become president of the united states, unless Mike Pence is also impeached but I don't hear people talking about a serious move to have Mike Pence impeached. My guess is Mike Pence would pardon him meaning going forward he would avoid prosecution.

"But I think the president is far more vulnerable being unpardoned, unelected," he continued. "In other words voters voted him out, because then he would become a citizen again and then he would be subject to prosecution for all crimes past. He would have no exoneration from them unless he got a presidential pardon and I don't think a Democrat in these circumstances is ever going to pardon Trump... I just don't think that's on the cards."

how does impeachment work chart
A graphic shows the presidential impeachment process according to Article 1, Section 2 and 3 of the U.S. Constitution. Statista

Following Pelosi's announcement, there have been ongoing discussions about what a potential impeachment would mean for Trump—and the country.

Only two presidents in U.S. history have been impeached by the House (Democrat Bill Clinton in 1998, and Andrew Johnson in 1868). In both cases the Senate failed to convict, and the presidents were not removed from office.

Given that there is currently a Republican majority in the Senate, pundits largely view it as unlikely that the required two thirds majority in the Senate would vote to convict Trump. However, Tyler said it was possible that some Republicans may be persuaded to do so, depending on how Democrats handled such an event.

The Senate could convict Trump "very easily if the democrats have a communication strategy to convince the majority in the requisite states, the states of republican senators, that if you don't impeach him we will unelect you," he said.

"If senators get that as the message, that I have to impeach him or they unelect me —they will impeach him in a heartbeat."