Donald Trump considered resigning but refused because he doesn't trust Mike Pence to pardon him: Report

Trump will be anxious over the possible Senate trial for a conviction vote by two-thirds of the chamber would leave him for a congressional ban to run for a federal office


                            Donald Trump considered resigning but refused because he doesn't trust Mike Pence to pardon him: Report
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence (Getty Images)

President Donald Trump saw the reputation of the prestigious office of the president of the United States of America going downhill in the first week of 2021. As the maverick Republican continued to defy the results of the 2020 presidential election saying it was stolen in favor of Joe Biden, his efforts to get legal remedy to reverse the outcome proved to be futile. Eventually, as the Congress met to count the Electoral College (EC) votes to affirm Biden as the president-elect, the commander-in-chief allegedly incited his supporters to storm the Capitol Hill. The end result was shocking and the entire world condemned the scenes that unfolded at the seat of the Congress on January 6, 2021. Five people died in the clashes.

Trump has faced a massive backlash following the riot at the Capitol, even from the Republican Party and on Wednesday, January 13, he became the first ever president of the US to get impeached twice as the Democratic-controlled House voted overwhelmingly in favor of impeaching him, second time after December 2019. Though it is unlikely that the Senate will impeach him before his term ends in another week, pressure has built to see the 45th president of the US leave the White House. But the tycoon-politician has remained defiant.

Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Getty Images)

Trump reportedly yelled “I’m not going to resign” last Friday, January 8, before attacking the Democratic lawmakers saying they will rue their effort to impeach him a second time and that they were hurting the nation by doing so. The Democratic-controlled House had impeached Trump 13 months ago on charges of misusing office and obstructing the Congress over dealings with Ukraine about Biden. He was acquitted by the GOP-controlled Senate in February 2020. 

According to sources that a report in the ABC News (Thursday, January 14) cited, Trump watched his impeachment on TV and was angry that some GOP members conceded his culpability in the Capitol Hill violence (this time, 10 Republicans in the House also backed the impeachment move). Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell though ruled out an impeachment trial in the chamber before January 20, he reportedly was pleased with the Dems’ move as that could facilitate plans to remove Trump from the GOP.  

The ABC report cited sources as saying that Trump was “anxious” about his post-presidency life as several partners have cut off ties with the Trump Organization while even some of his loyalists in the party condemned his conduct, it also said that the outgoing president told his small circle of top aides that he had no plans to resign in the few days he has left in the office. One of the reasons for which he is not going to resign is that he doesn’t trust Vice President Mike Pence to pardon him. 

Trump doesn't trust Pence pardoning him

Donald Trump (Getty Images)

“This week, top aides met with Trump to discuss his options going forward. Among those options was what a potential resignation would look like. The president asked questions about the process, but ultimately said such an option was a nonstarter, in part because he doesn't trust that Vice President Mike Pence will grant him a pardon,” the ABC report added.



 

In the 1970s, former president Richard Nixon was granted a presidential pardon by his own vice president and succeeding president Gerald Ford after the former resigned following the Watergate scandal. The relationship between Trump and Pence, who has been one of his closest allies in the last four years, soured in recent times after the latter refused to fulfil the president’s wish to contest the EC votes cementing Biden’s win in the Congress. He called Pence a coward after the vice president openly defied him saying he did not have the constitutional authority to challenge the EC votes. Pence, however, resisted the Democrats’ pressure to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump following which the opponents moved to impeach him.

Trump will be anxious over the possible Senate trial for a conviction vote by two-thirds of the chamber would leave him for a congressional ban to run for a federal office. Trump has already indicated that he would run for the top office in 2024 but a simple majority in the Senate would dash his chances. 

Such a scenario has its precedent. During the Civil War in the mid-19th century, the Congress voted to impeach and convict federal judge West H Humphreys, who went South and served as a Confederate judge. In May 1862, the House impeached him and next month, the Senate also did the same and he was officially barred for life from holding office in the US.