Pence took to X, formerly known as Twitter, shortly after a grand jury in Washington, D.C., indicted Trump over allegedly attempting to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Trump was charged with Conspiracy to Defraud the United States, Conspiracy to Obstruct an Official Proceeding, Obstruction of and Attempt to Obstruct an Official Proceeding, and Conspiracy Against Rights.
“Today’s indictment serves as an important reminder: anyone who puts himself over the Constitution should never be President of the United States,” Pence said. “I will have more to say about the government’s case after reviewing the indictment. The former president is entitled to the presumption of innocence but with this indictment, his candidacy means more talk about January 6th and more distractions.”
Today's indictment serves as an important reminder: anyone who puts himself over the Constitution should never be President of the United States.
— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) August 2, 2023
Pence continued by arguing that Trump’s candidacy would distract from the important issues Americans face, such as “Joe Biden’s disastrous economic policies afflicting millions across the United States and to the pattern of corruption with Hunter.” The former vice president then called out Trump for asking him to reject the electoral votes of several states following the 2020 election, a power Pence said the Constitution did not grant him.
“Our country is more important than one man. Our constitution is more important than any one man’s career. On January 6th, former President Trump demanded that I choose between him and the Constitution. I chose the Constitution and I always will,” Pence said.
The Trump campaign responded to the indictment Tuesday night, calling it an attempt by Biden’s Justice Department to “interfere with the 2024 Presidential Election.”
“The lawlessness of these persecutions of President Trump and his supporters is reminiscent of Nazi Germany in the 1930s, the former Soviet Union, and other authoritarian, dictatorial regimes,” Trump’s campaign said in a statement. “President Trump has always followed the law and the Constitution, with advice from many highly accomplished attorneys.”
The indictment, delivered by Special Counsel Jack Smith, is the third criminal case brought against Trump in the past year. In June, he pleaded not guilty to charges in connection to his handling of classified documents, and in April, Trump pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from his alleged hush money payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels.
The latest indictment was ripped by top Republicans — including some of Trump’s GOP primary opponents — as more political targeting of Trump by Biden’s DOJ. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) swore that House Republicans “will continue to uncover the truth about Biden Inc. and the two-tiered system of justice.”
Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, Trump’s closest challenger in the Republican primary, also slammed the DOJ in response to reports about the indictment.
“As President, I will end the weaponization of government, replace the FBI Director, and ensure a single standard of justice for all Americans,” DeSantis said. “While I’ve seen reports, I have not read the indictment. I do, though, believe we need to enact reforms so that Americans have the right to remove cases from Washington, D.C., to their home districts.”
“Washington, D.C., is a ‘swamp’ and it is unfair to have to stand trial before a jury that is reflective of the swamp mentality,” the governor added. “One of the reasons our country is in decline is the politicization of the rule of law. No more excuses—I will end the weaponization of the federal government.”