What is Pence thinking?
On Sunday, former Vice President Mike Pence faced a question regarding his potential pardon of Donald Trump if he were to become president in 2024.
According to Newsweek, Trump, who has been the leading contender for the 2024 GOP nomination, is currently facing 37 federal charges related to the mishandling of classified documents he took from the White House in January 2021. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has accused Trump of obstructing efforts to return the documents to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) by taking them to his private residence, Mar-a-Lago, in Florida. Trump pleaded not guilty to the charges during a court appearance in Miami and has maintained his innocence throughout the DOJ’s investigation.
During an interview on NBC News’ Meet the Press, Pence, who is also running for president in 2024 and served as Trump’s vice president, was asked by host Chuck Todd if he would pardon Trump if he were convicted as president. Pence responded by saying that the question was premature and mentioned his past pardons for individuals found guilty of crimes. He also expressed his doubts about presuming Trump’s guilt, criticizing some of his Republican primary competitors for making such assumptions.
When Todd asked if Pence would pardon Trump as President Biden, the former vice president avoided a direct answer, emphasizing the divisive nature of the situation and expressing his disappointment in the current state of affairs.
Meanwhile, another 2024 GOP presidential candidate, Vivek Ramaswamy, publicly pledged to pardon Trump if elected and called on other candidates to do the same via Twitter.
Similarly, Senator Tim Scott, a Republican candidate from South Carolina, stated during an interview on Fox News Sunday that he wouldn’t engage in hypothetical discussions but emphasized that every American is innocent until proven guilty.