Former vice president Mike Pence said in an interview aired Sunday that the impending indictment of former president Trump by progressive Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg smells of a “politically charged prosecution.”
Trump said Saturday on social media that he expects to be arrested next week, urging followers to protest in response. The development comes amid New York prosecutors’ investigation into Trump’s connection to a hush-money payment made to porn actress Stormy Daniels. Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who sent the money on Trump’s behalf, testified to the grand jury Monday.
“I’m taken aback at the idea of indicting a former president of the United States, at a time when there’s a crime wave in New York City,” Pence said on ABC’s “This Week.” “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.”
Pence added that the probe is motivated by political animus, making it unpopular among the public and generally bad optics.
“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,” Pence said.
Last week, the former vice president publicly blasted Trump’s involvement in the January 6 Capitol Riot. He criticized the media pundits who tried to excuse the demonstrators storming the federal buildings.
“Tourists don’t injure 140 police officers by sightseeing,” Pence said at the annual Gridiron Club Dinner in Washington, D.C. “Tourists don’t break down doors to get to the Speaker of the House or voice threats against public officials.”
Lawyers for Pence last week filed a motion to reject the federal grand jury’s subpoena for his testimony on January 6.
Pence said in the interview Sunday that any protesting of Trump’s treatment must remain civil and not spiral into political unrest like January 6 or the riots that wrecked cities across the country during the summer of 2020.
“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 January 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.”