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Pence on possible Trump arrest: ‘It just feels like a politically charged prosecution’

Former Vice President Mike Pence
Greg Nash
Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks at a Coolidge and the American Project luncheon to celebrate the one-hundredth anniversary of President Coolidge’s term at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, February 16, 2023.

Former Vice President Mike Pence argued in an interview broadcast Sunday that the possible looming arrest of former President Trump in a case by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office would be a “politically charged prosecution.”

Trump claimed on social media earlier this weekend that he would be arrested in the investigation into alleged payments to Stormy Daniels to buy her silence ahead of the 2016 presidential election. The former president also called for protests from supporters.

Pence, who has increasingly split from Trump in recent weeks, attacked the prosecutor who is overseeing the hush money investigation as part of the “radical left.”

“I’m taken aback at the idea of indicting a former president of the United States, at a time when there’s a crime wave in New York City,” Pence said on ABC’s “This Week.” “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.”

And Pence said a possible Trump arrest resulting from the Manhattan investigation, which the former president has said is “corrupt” and “highly political,” would be purely for political reasons.

“It just feels like a politically charged prosecution here. And I, for my part, I just feel like it’s just not what the American people want to see,” Pence said.

The comments from Pence come after he seemingly criticized Trump over the weekend for calling on the former president’s supporters to protest, with the former vice president telling reporters in Iowa that “violence will not be tolerated.”

He said in the interview with ABC that if Trump’s supporters were to demonstrate against a potential arrest, they should do so peacefully. 

“I believe that people understand that if they give voice to this, if this occurs on Tuesday, that they need to do so peacefully and in a lawful manner,” Pence said. “That the violence that occurred on Jan. 6, the violence that occurred in cities throughout this country in the summer of 2020 was a disgrace. The American people won’t tolerate it and those that engage in that kind of violence should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Pence, who is refusing to testify in the federal investigation into Trump surrounding the Jan. 6 insurrection, has spent much of the last few months in early primary states as he mulls a 2024 presidential bid. 

— Updated at 9:01 a.m.

Tags Donald Trump hush money payment Manhattan District Attorney Mike Pence Stormy Daniels Stormy Daniels

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