Jill Wine-Banks, an MSNBC commentator who once served on the Watergate prosecution team, explained Saturday on "AM Joy" how Donald Trump and Mike Pence could both be impeached, leaving House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as president.
(Editor's note: No word on whether Pelosi would appoint Hillary Clinton as her vice president and then resign.)
JOY ANN REID, MSNBC: If Mike Pence were to become head of state, Mike Pence is as deeply involved as Donald Trump is, so you really don't change anything if Mike Pence is in place and if all of the other people that were involved, all of the conspirators remain in place, and you still particularly have William Barr, who is somebody who is completely now out of the realm of being the public's lawyer and just acting as -- we just heard Elizabeth Holtzman say, to deep-six investigations against Trump, and to raise investigations against his enemies. How does anything change if Donald Trump is no longer at the top of this sort of, you know, web of corruption, but Pence is then at the top of it?
JILL WINE-BANKS: Well, I think a couple of things happen. One, the American voters will actually see, and I remain sort of a pollyanna that I believe facts ultimately matter and that, in fact, even 20 Republican senators might come to their senses and say, the country is at risk if I don't vote this way, and the facts are clear. And I think in this case, we have very clear facts.
There is -- and Liz and I talked about this before the show -- you could impeach Pence first. The problem is that Donald Trump then has to name his replacement. But I think that maybe a deal could be struck where he was told, if you don't make a replacement, then Nancy Pelosi does become president. And so, you are going to be impeached and convicted. You need to make this replacement so that the proper party remains in power.
I also just want to add, I'm hearing all of these Watergate phrases of "deep-sixing" and "throwing under the bus," and there's also another one of "circling the wagons," which is relevant here, where the White House circled the wagons and said, we're going to feed them somebody. We have to give up somebody in order to -- if we give them the hors d'oeuvre, maybe they won't go for the main course. And that's what's happening here. And there was also a rush into the prosecution offices. It was who's going to get the best deal by being the first in? And you had John Dean and Jeb McGruder running entire offices, saying, I'll cooperate, I'll cooperate. And I think that's going to start happening. And once we get to that level of cooperation, the dominos are going to fall, and it's going to happen fast.