Former Vice President Mike Pence said Sunday that he is “taken aback” by the potential indictment of former President Donald Trump by the New York Attorney General’s office.
Trump announced Saturday that he will likely be indicted and arrested Tuesday by the New York Attorney General Alvin Bragg’s office for allegedly paying hush money to former porn star and alleged former mistress Stormy Daniels in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election.
“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. It just feels like a politically charged prosecution here and for my part, it just feels that this is not what the American people want to see.”
“We have real challenges in this country, where people are facing record inflation, a crisis at our border, we have war in Eastern Europe. The American people are anxious about the future and here we go again with a politically charged prosecution directed at the former president of the United States and I would just hope for better,” he continued.
ABC News anchor Jonathan Karl questioned Pence on whether he is concerned about Trump’s call for people to protest his indictment, given that the last protest on his behalf resulted in the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021. (RELATED: ‘Endangered My Family’: Pence Blames Trump For January 6 Riot At Gridiron Dinner)
“Jon, the American people have a constitutional right to peaceably assemble,” Pence responded.
“Absolutely, but after the former president [was] calling on people to protest a justice proceeding,” Karl pushed back.
“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,” Pence said. “That the violence that occurred on January 6, the violence that occurred throughout this country in the summer of 2020 was a disgrace, the American people won’t tolerate it, and people that engage in that kind of violence should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
The former vice president said the alleged $130,000 payment to Daniels occurred before he joined the national ticket, and thus cannot speak to the case. Bragg appears poised to indict the former president, and is reportedly planning a meeting with law enforcement to coordinate the logistics of a potential arrest, Fox News reported.
Pence has repeatedly criticized Trump for his actions that led to the events at the Capitol in 2021. He has consistently held that the former president “endangered” himself and his family and continues to defend his decision to certify the electoral votes.