Former Vice President Mike Pence defended former President Donald Trump’s right to have his day in court, but dodged questions about whether Trump should be convicted if the allegations against him are proven true.
Pence appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday for a lengthy interview with host Chuck Todd. Todd began the conversation by mentioning Trump’s indictment and subsequent appearance in a federal court in Miami, but Pence repeatedly dodged the host’s questions.
“You have read this indictment. If the allegations are true, and proven in a court of law, do you think the former president should be convicted?” Todd asked.
“Well, first, let me start with the news of our life, Chuck,” Pence said, referring to the fact that he had launched a presidential campaign the previous week. “I think this country is in a lot of trouble. I think President Biden has weakened this country at home and abroad. Virtually every crisis we face in this country both at home and abroad has literally been the result of the decisions taken by this president”.
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Pence continued to lament that America was in a position where one of its former presidents was in federal court, but he did not consider a possible conviction. Todd then pressed the president again.
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“Please address this. Do you think if the allegations are true that he deserves to be convicted?” Todd asked once more.
“Well, first, in times like this I think it’s important that the leaders of this country … go back to first principles. The first principle is that no one is above the law. The second principle is that everyone has the right to a presumption of innocence.” Pence replied.
“I have read the indictment in detail, and the allegations in the indictment are serious, and I cannot defend what is alleged. But the former president deserves his day in court. He deserves the opportunity to make his defense in a court of law. So I want to reserve judgment on that,” he continued.
trump pleaded not guilty in federal court Tuesday to 37 federal charges stemming from special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into his alleged improper retention of classified records at Mar-a-Lago.
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Pence criticized Trump more harshly in another interview with the New York Post, in which he criticized the former president’s willingness to increase spending as much as President Biden. Reaffirming his support for the pro-life movement, Pence also criticized Trump for his claim that the losses in the 2022 midterm elections were the result of the Decision of the Supreme Court last year to overturn Roe v. Wade.