Former Vice President and 2024 candidate Mike Pence on Saturday called on Attorney General Merrick Garland to address the indictment of former President Donald Trump.
Trump announced he had been indicted over the alleged mishandling of classified documents Thursday evening, and the 49-page indictment was unsealed Friday, listing 31 counts of alleged violations of the Espionage Act. The former vice president called on Garland, who has yet to publicly address the indictment in detail, to “stop hiding” behind Special Counsel Jack Smith, who carried out the documents probe, and provide an explanation for the indictment of Pence’s former running-mate.
“Today, I am calling on the attorney general to stand before the American people and explain why this was necessary in his words,” Pence said in a speech at the North Carolina GOP convention. “Merrick Garland, stop hiding behind the special counsel and stand before the American people and explain why this indictment went forward.”
Pence also asked the American people to pray for Trump and his family, as well as the polarized country, and promised to “clean house” in the Department of Justice (DOJ) if elected to the White House in 2024. (RELATED: ‘Deeply Troubled’: Mike Pence Speaks Out On Trump Indictment)
“The American people deserve to know the reasons for this unprecedented action and we also need to hear the former president‘s defense,” said Pence. “Each of us can make our own judgment on whether this is the latest example of a Justice Department working an injustice or otherwise.”
The charges follow a years-long investigation into the former president, and are tied to the August raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home where the FBI recovered over 300 pages of documents. The first indication that an indictment was imminent came on Wednesday when Trump’s counsel received a letter from federal prosecutors, informing him that he was the target of their investigation.
The DOJ also indicted Trump aide Walter Nauta on Friday in connection with the documents probe. Trump’s indictment marks the first time any former U.S. president has been federally charged, and he will appear in a Federal courthouse in Miami on Tuesday at 3 p.m.
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