In a recent radio interview, former Vice President Mike Pence refused to promise a pardon for his former running mate, Donald Trump, who is currently facing a federal criminal indictment. The exchange took place during an appearance on the Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show on Wednesday.
Donald Trump is facing a 37-count indictment related to his handling of classified documents, including nuclear secrets, U.S. defense capabilities, and potential vulnerabilities of the U.S. to foreign attack. Trump pleaded not guilty in federal court, denying allegations of defying a subpoena and obstructing justice in an effort to retain these classified documents.
Pence, who was Vice President during the Trump administration, is currently running for President in 2024. When pressed by radio host Clay Travis on whether he would pledge to pardon Trump if the latter is convicted of these charges, Pence declined to make any commitments.
“Well, first off, these are serious charges,” Pence responded. “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. 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 argued that Trump “is being prosecuted for political-based reasons,” and presidential candidates should pledge to pardon Trump even before the prosecution goes forward. He conceded the allegations against Trump “are serious” but claimed “allowing Donald Trump to be put in prison” is a worse result than “taking a principled stand in saying, as a matter of principle, this shouldn’t happen.” Travis concluded that Pence’s reluctance to make a decision indicates a lack of leadership.
Pence has been vocal about his disapproval of Trump’s behavior, especially after the January 6 Capitol riot. As he launches his presidential campaign and continues to challenge his former running mate, Pence maintained his position.
“It’s premature,” he told Travis. “Let’s let the process play out. Let’s follow the facts. And I promise you, as president of the United States, I’ll do just that.”
This traitor has ZERO CHANCE. Unbelievable turncoat. Benedict Pence.
— Renee MAGA girl in California. (@RDobihal) June 14, 2023
The decision to prosecute was 100% politically motivated. With that said, the facts and evidence also have to stand on their own during trial. I have no problem with Pence not answering a hypothetical question.
— Thanks Murphy 🍊 (@JoNathanVol77) June 14, 2023
PENCE: Let’s let the corrupt process play out and see what happens.
— Nate From Texas (@NateFromTexas) June 14, 2023
It’s like when you ask someone if they love you. If there’s any pause it’s game over
— BEN MčCULLEY (@BenMcCulley) June 14, 2023