Pence hits out at GOP opponents, calling Trump’s pardon promises ‘premature’

Former Vice President Mike Pence asked Friday why some of his competitors in the GOP presidential primary were implying that a guilty verdict was on the horizon for former President Donald Trump in the classified documents case.

“I don’t know why some of my competitors in the Republican primary are assuming the president will be found guilty,” Pence said in an interview with NBC News’ Chuck Todd that aired in full Sunday on “Meet the Press.”

“All we know is…what the president is charged with in the indictment. We don’t know what his defense is. We don’t know if it will even go to trial. It could be subject to a motion to dismiss. We don’t know what the jury’s verdict will be,” Pence said.

Watch “Meet the Press” with Chuck Todd on Sunday at 9 a.m. ET or check local listings.

Several Republican candidates, including entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, have suggested they would forgive Trump if elected.

When asked if he would take that step, Pence dodged the question.

“Well, I just think the question is, is premature,” he said during Friday’s interview in Huntsville, Alabama.

Pence’s response echoed earlier remarks he made this week to “The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show” when he also said the charges against Trump were serious and he “deserved to defend himself.”

Trump has been indicted in two cases, most recently on 37 counts stemming from more than 100 classified documents recovered from Mar-a-Lago in August.

Prior to that, he was charged in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Hush Money case, which charged Trump with 34 counts of falsifying business records related to his alleged role in paying silent money to two women. before the 2016 elections.

Trump pleaded not guilty in both cases.

When asked on Friday if he would forgive Trump if he were President Joe Biden, Pence did not answer directly and instead said, “I just think this whole thing is incredibly divisive. for the country… It’s sad for me right now.”

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