Former Vice President Mike Pence, a Republican 2024 presidential candidate, refused to answer Wednesday if he would pardon former President Donald Trump if he is elected president next year.
During an appearance on “The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show,” Pence was pressed to give a definite answer whether he would pardon Trump if the former president is convicted of the 37 felony charges Special Counsel Jack Smith brought against him in an indictment last week regarding the alleged mishandling of classified information.
Pence claimed the charges brought against Trump are “serious charges,” adding that while he “can’t defend” the charges outlined against the former president, he believes Trump deserves to “make his defense.”
“I would say to each one of you, look, I’ve been a former governor,” he said. “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.”
When Pence was pressed further regarding his refusal to answer whether or not he would pardon Trump if elected president in 2024, Pence questioned whether the show’s hosts knew what Trump’s defense will be to the charges against him.
“I mean, what are the facts? I mean, look, we either believe in our judicial process in this country or we don’t,” he said. “We either stand by the rule of law or we don’t.”
Earlier this week, Pence discussed the criminal indictment of Trump with popular conservative Ben Shapiro on The Daily Wire. Pence described the arraignment of Trump as a “sad day” in American history.
“I mean, literally, to see a former President of the United States in the dock and face charges in a criminal indictment, I think is deeply discouraging to millions of Americans,” Pence said. “That being said, you know, no one’s above the law. And as Americans, we’re innocent until proven guilty.”
Nikki Haley, former U.N. ambassador and Republican presidential candidate, also appeared on “The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show” Wednesday. During her appearance on the show, Haley commented on the Justice Department’s case against Trump, saying, “I think it would be terrible for the country to have a former president in prison for years because of a documents case.”
Like Pence, Haley stressed the importance of allowing the trial to “play out.” However, unlike Pence, she gave voters an indication of what she would do if she was elected president.
“I would be inclined in favor of a pardon,” she said. “But I think it’s really premature at this point when he’s not even been convicted of anything.”