Former Vice President Mike Pence said the potential arrest of ex-President Donald Trump by the Manhattan district attorney would be a “politically charged prosecution.”
In a interview that aired Sunday on ABC News’ “This Week,” Pence said he was “taken aback the idea of indicting a former president of the United States, at a time when there’s a crime wave in New York City.”
“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,” the former veep said.
“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,” he added.
Pence ticked off other issues facing the country — from high prices due to inflation to the border crisis and the war in Ukraine.
“The American people are anxious about the future and here we go again, back into another politically charged prosecution directed at the former president of the United States, and I would just hope for better,” he said.
Trump wrote on his Truth Social media outlet Saturday that he would be arrested on Tuesday by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for an alleged $130,000 hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election, and called on his supporters to “protest.”
“THE FAR & AWAY LEADING REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE & FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, WILL BE ARRESTED ON TUESDAY OF NEXT WEEK. PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK!” Trump said in an all-caps message to his supporters.
“THEY’RE KILLING OUR NATION AS WE SIT BACK & WATCH. WE MUST SAVE AMERICA!PROTEST, PROTEST, PROTEST!!!.” he said in another of a series of postings about the possible arrest.
ABC’s Jonathan Karl asked Pence about how the words the former president used were similar to his comments before throngs of his supporters stormed the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in an attempt to disrupt the 2020 presidential election.
Karl said Trump is calling for people to “protest a justice proceeding.”
Pence, who played a central role during the Jan. 6 riot, responded that he believes the American people are frustrated by a “two-tier justice system in this country.”
“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,” he continued.
Pence, serving in his role as Senate president in 2021, was pressed by Trump to reject the results of the presidential election, but the then-vice president refused, saying he did not have the constitutional authority to do so.
And while Pence, who’s mulling his own 2024 presidential bid, has said he’ll challenge a subpoena to testify in special counsel Jack Smith’s Jan. 6 investigation, he said he wouldn’t fight every area covered in the subpoena.
“We’re not asserting executive privilege, which may encompass other discussions,” he said.
Pence has invoked the “speech and debate” clause in the Constitution that protects lawmakers from being questioned about their official duties.
“I just believe that the work that I did preparing for and conducting on my role as President of the Senate is covered by the speech and debate clause. I believe we have the law on our side,” he said on ABC.