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Pence considers pardoning Trump if convicted.

Former Vice President Mike Pence Weighs In on Pardoning Trump

Former Vice President Mike Pence appeared to distance himself from committing to pardoning former President Donald Trump if he is ultimately convicted of a federal crime.

During the “Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show” on Wednesday, Pence was asked about Trump having been indicted last week on 37 felony counts connected to his alleged mishandling of classified documents and alleged attempts to obstruct the investigation. On Tuesday, Trump was arrested and charged, and he entered a plea of not guilty to all the counts.

When pressed, Pence claimed that “first off, these are serious charges.” He added, “And as I said, I can’t defend what’s been alleged, but the president does deserve to make his defense.”

“And I would say to each one of you, look, I’ve been a former governor,” Pence said. “I’ve actually granted pardons to people and I take the pardon authority very seriously. It’s an enormously important power of someone in an executive position. And I just think it’s premature to have any conversation about that right now.”

Travis then suggested to Pence that his comment about letting the legal process play out isn’t a sign of great leadership.

“I don’t think you know what the president’s defense is, do you?” Pence said in response. “I mean, what are the facts? I mean, look, we either believe in our judicial process in this country or we don’t. We either stand by the rule of law or we don’t.”

On Twitter, Travis later criticized Pence over the interview and claimed the former vice president “refused to answer if he’d pardon” Trump. “Things got a bit heated as I pressed him on why he wouldn’t answer,” he said.

Also Wednesday, Pence told the Daily Wire that he believes Trump’s arrest is a “sad day in this life of this nation,” adding that “no one’s above the law.”

Former Vice President Mike Pence, joined by his wife Karen, greets supporters after formally announcing his intention to seek the Republican nomination for president in Ankeny, Iowa, on June 7, 2023. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

“I mean, literally, to see a former President of the United States in the dock and face charges in a criminal indictment, I think is deeply discouraging to millions of Americans,” Pence said. “That being said, you know, no one’s above the law. And as Americans, we’re innocent until proven guilty and I had the opportunity to review the indictment over the weekend. And I will tell you, these are serious charges and I can’t defend what is alleged, but the president deserves his day in court.”

Several other GOP presidential candidates, including businessman Vivek Ramaswamy and radio host Larry Elder, have indicated that they would pardon Trump if he’s convicted.

Another candidate, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley told Politico on Wednesday that she is “inclined in favor” of pardoning Trump should she get elected and he get convicted. “When you look at a pardon, the issue is less about guilt and more about what’s good for the country,” Haley stated. “And I think it would be terrible for the country to have a former president in prison for years because of a documents case.”

“So I would be inclined in favor of a pardon,” she also remarked.

Meanwhile, 2024 candidates Chris Christie and Asa Hutchinson, who both polled at around 1 percent in a recent Quinnipiac survey, have been the most critical of Trump since he was indicted. Christie said in a CNN ev

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