Former vice President Mike Pence shared his reaction to the potential imminent arrest of ex-boss turned political rival, Donald Trump.
Pence told ABC News that he was “taken back” by reports Manhattan District attorney Alvin Bragg will indict Trump over years-old hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels.
Trump would be the first American president in history to face criminal charges. He is also a White House candidate and the frontrunner in the 2024 Republican presidential primary.
Pence, who is widely expected to enter the horse race, echoed those criticizing the rumored indictment as a chilling act of political repression.
Democrats have preemptively defended Bragg with the mantra “no one is above the law,” but Pence said the “politically charged” case shows that Bragg is not prioritizing the needs of the American people. He contrasted Bragg’s pursuit of Trump with his kid-gloved handling of violent criminals In New York.
“I’m taken aback at the idea,” Pence told ABC News.
“The idea of indicting a former president of the United States at a time where there’s a crime wave in New York City, the fact that the Manhattan DA thinks that indicting President Trump is his top priority I think just tells you everything you need to know about the radical left in this country.”
While Pence has grown estranged with Trump since the January 6th Capitol unrest, he defended the right of Trump supporters to protest the unprecedented indictment.
“The frustration the American people feel about what they feel is a two-tiered justice system in this country I think is well founded, but I believe that people understand that if they give voice to this, that this occurs on Tuesday, that they need to do so peacefully and in a lawful manner,” he said.
Florida governor Ron DeSantis weighed in Monday after coming under pressure to comment.
The man widely seen as Trump’s top Republican rival criticized Bragg, while suggesting that Trump had gotten himself into a jam.
“I don't know what goes into paying hush money to a porn star to secure silence over some type of alleged affair. I just can't speak to that," the governor said, to laughs from the crowd.
DeSantis said he has “no interest in getting involved in some type of manufactured circus by some Soros DA.”
Others have used sharper language to condemn Bragg. Republican primary candidate Vivek Ramaswamy called on Bragg to drop the “un-American” case, which he called an authoritarian effort by “the ruling party to use police power to arrest its political rivals.”