Pence Blasts Trump After Indictment
Former Vice President Mike Pence issued a sharp rebuke of his predecessor, former President Trump, condemning him for "putting himself over the Constitution" and pleading with Americans to stop being "distracted" by the latest round of criminal charges his campaign faces.
In a statement released Tuesday following Special Counsel Jack Smith's latest federal indictment against Trump, Pence urged the public to focus their attention instead on the "disastrous" economic record of the Biden Administration.
"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.
He went on to say that the former president is "entitled to the presumption of innocence" and accused the candidacy of Trump of creating unnecessary distractions.
"As Americans, his candidacy means less attention paid to Joe Biden's disastrous economic policies afflicting millions across the United States and to the pattern of corruption with Hunter," Pence said.
The statement also touched on the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot, when Trump reportedly asked Pence to call on Congress not to certify President Biden's election victory, a direct violation of the Constitution.
"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.
He concluded his statement by promising to defend the Constitution and the American people.
"As your president, I will not yield an inch in defending America, our people, or our values, and I promise you: I will do so in a way consistent with my oath to the Constitution and the character and decency of the American people. We will restore a threshold of integrity and civility in public life so we can bring real solutions to the challenges plaguing our nation," he said.
Trump was indicted on four federal charges out of the probe, including 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. His attorney, Jay Sekulow, said the former president plans to challenge the charges.
This is the second federal indictment the former president faces out of Smith’s investigation. Trump, who is leading the 2024 GOP presidential primary field, has already pleaded not guilty to 37 counts related to his alleged improper retention of classified records from his presidency.