Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy declared that he would pardon Trump if he was elected president, reiterating that the case that the DOJ case against Trump is “clearly politicized”.
Mr. Ramaswamy made these remarks to CNN host Kasie Hunt during a Sunday morning appearance on the left-wing network.. Ultimately, Vivek says he would do so because he wants country “to move forward as one nation rather than march into a national divorce.”
These statements were prompted by Hunt asking Vivek about the new obstruction charge that was added by Special Counsel Jack Smith against Trump alleging that “Trump talk to an aide who later told the IT director at Mar-a-Lago that ‘the boss’ wanted the footage deleted” if the Republican candidate was still behind pardoning Donald J. Trump.
Ramaswamy replied that “the standard I use as our next president is what moves our country forward. What is the right thing for the United States of America.” The host then tried interjected but Vivek continued despite the interruption by re-affirm that “I would pardon him [Trump].” Vivek explained that “I believe one of the right ways to do that is pardon the former president of the United States from what is clearly a politicized persecution.”
He further elaborated that “I think that the general norm in our Justice Department is you should not convict somebody of a process crime when there was no actual underlying crime.” The host challenged him by asking “So you think destroying evidence is a process crime?” Vivek responded ““I think it is by definition a process crime. Nobody left, right, any legal scholar will [dis]agree with me on that statement. that is by definition a process crime. A crime that would not have existed but for the existence of an investigation.”
Mr. Trump responded directly to the allegation by Jack Smith on Truth Social by posting that “MAR-A-LAGO SECURITY TAPES WERE NOT DELETED. THEY WERE VOLUNTARILY HANDED OVER TO THE THUGS, HEADED UP BY DERANGED JACK SMITH. WE DID NOT EVEN GO TO COURT TO STOP THEM FROM GETTING THESE TAPES. I NEVER TOLD ANYBODY TO DELETE THEM. PROSECUTORIAL FICTION & MISCONDUCT! ELECTION INTERFERENCE!”
Julie Kelly, an independent journalist, similarly observed that “Smith’s allegation is laughably weak—hearsay at best—with a brief paragraph of an alleged exchange btw 2 Trump employees. Trump’s name isn’t specifically mentioned” and listed a number of statements made in court that suggested that nothing was actually deleted and that “Smith’s team told Judge Cannon and Trump’s lawyers that oh, you only need to look at video from May 24 until June 2—when the alleged obstructive box-moving occurred. Cannon called BS on that. Nothing deleted. No conspiracy.”
is after all that, Smith’s team told Judge Cannon and Trump’s lawyers that oh, you only need to look at video from May 24 until June 2—when the alleged obstructive box-moving occurred.
Cannon called BS on that.
Nothing deleted. No conspiracy. pic.twitter.com/ZivAJR4CIE
— Julie Kelly 🇺🇸 (@julie_kelly2) July 29, 2023
Even if Mr. Smith’s charge about a conspiracy to delete footage that was directed by Trump is true, Vivek is in the right in pointing out that if there is no underlying crime then the DOJ should not pursue obstruction charges. This has been binding DOJ policy as spelled out in a 2019 memo.