DERRY, NH – Former Vice President Mike Pence walked a fine line as he discussed the unprecedented indictment against his former boss – former President Donald Trump.
Calling the news of the indictment “not just a sad day, but a troubling day for millions of Americans,” Pence repeated in an interview with Fox News Digital what he said during a nationally broadcast radio appearance, a campaign rally and during an interview with Fox News Digital said had hustle with reporters.
“I think it’s important for people to remember that no one is above the law,” he said.
But he immediately added, “Neither is anyone under the law.” Every American has the right to be innocent until proven guilty, and the former president has the right to the presumption of innocence. And any decision about the campaign or its course of action should be based on the presumption of innocence.”
And in his campaign speech, he stressed that “the handling of classified United States material is serious business.”
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Pence’s comments came a few hours after he made similar points during a nationwide radio interview with conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt. Pence reiterated his stance Friday afternoon while answering reporters’ questions during a retail campaign stop at Mary Ann’s Diner in downtown Derry, New Hampshire.
“This is a sad day for America,” Pence said minutes later in a one-on-one interview with Fox News Digital. “The very idea that a former President of the United States would be impeached by the government of the man he ran against and plans to run again deeply worries me and millions of Americans. I was hoping that the Justice Department would find a clear way to resolve this issue without filing charges.”
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Referring to the Justice Department, the former vice president added: “I am deeply concerned. I believe it is extraordinarily divisive at a time when our politics is more divided than ever.”
Pence was speaking the day after Trump was charged with allegedly improperly storing classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Fla. after leaving the White House in 2021
Legal expert says new federal indictment against Trump is ‘very different’
Trump was indicted Thursday night on federal charges stemming from Special Counsel Jack Smith’s months-long investigation. This stunning development marks the first time a former president has faced federal impeachment.
“I did absolutely nothing wrong,” Trump told Fox News Digital Thursday night.
Early Friday, Pence repeatedly urged Attorney General Merrick Garland to “clear the indictments and explain to the press and the American people the reasons for this unprecedented indictment against a former President of the United States.” Attorney General Merrick Garland, you need to stop behind yourself to hide from the special counsel. You have to get up and explain to us why this was necessary before the sun goes down today.”
Hours later, the 37 federal indictments were dropped. It accused Trump of lying and schemes and misleading federal investigations to continue withholding sensitive material the former president allegedly knew was still confidential. The indictment accuses the former president of violating seven different laws.
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When asked if the former vice president wanted two things in his responses to the Trump impeachment, a campaign spokesman for Pence told Fox News he defended the former vice president’s approach.
“I think the American people have lost a lot of confidence in our federal justice system over the last few years, and I think he’s right in pointing that out. But at the same time it is true that no one is above the law. I think that’s just the point he wants to make,” the aide said.
“The two can be true,” added the consultant.
Longtime Republican strategist and communicator Ryan Williams opined that “Pence is in a very difficult position.”
“He obviously has reservations about what his former boss was doing,” Williams noted. “He’s trying to state the obvious, which is that Trump’s behavior is concerning, but he’s not trying to upset the kind of Republican primary voters he needs to court if he wants to be the nominee.”
An indictment for an alleged crime, the perpetrator’s attendant gait, and the subsequent court hearings would sound like a deathblow to an elected politician. But for Trump – who is hardly a normal politician – it seems like a gift in the race for the Republican nomination.
Trump enjoyed a resurgence in Republican primary polls after he was indicted and charged in New York City two months ago for allegedly making hush money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in 2016 to silence her ahead of this year’s presidential election.
Asked if the federal indictments will again strengthen Trump and complicate his own attempt to secure the nomination, Pence said he is “confident that Republican primary voters here and in Iowa and in all the upcoming Republican primary elections will sort out all of these issues.” become.”
“I believe they will give us a timely flag-bearer who can lead not only our party but our nation back to security and prosperity,” Pence said.
Pence is among ten Republicans running against Trump for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024. Trump, who ran for the White House for the third consecutive term in November, is currently the front runner in the recent Republican primary.
Pence, who started his campaign in Iowa on Wednesday, made his first stop in New Hampshire as a declared candidate. Iowa and New Hampshire are the first two states to vote on the GOP’s nomination calendar.
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Williams, a veteran of multiple Republican presidential and statewide campaigns, predicted that “Republicans will likely rally around Trump like they did after his first impeachment.”
“If, regardless of the facts, you don’t prove upset about these charges, you risk losing voters in the Republican primary process. “It’s a difficult position, especially for someone who served under Trump as his vice president,” he added.
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