Pence, in Iowa, characterizes potential Trump prosecution as ‘politically motivated’

By: - March 18, 2023 8:21 pm

Former President Mike Pence talks to reporters after a forum with Sen. Joni Ernst sponsored by the Bastion Institute. (Courtesy of Robert Leonard)

Former Vice President Mike Pence, in Des Moines on Saturday, said “no one is above the law,” but he also characterized a potential indictment against former President Donald Trump as “politically motivated” and “troubling.”

“Well, here we go again. Another politically charged prosecution of the former president of the United States,” Pence said.

Pence spoke Saturday at a foreign policy event with Sen. Joni Ernst, sponsored by the Bastion Institute. Afterward, he responded to questions from reporters about Trump’s possible indictment and arrest by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. Trump reportedly may be indicted for an alleged hush money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

When asked if Trump should be prosecuted if he broke the law, Pence said the investigation and possible indictment and arrest were politically motivated.

“The idea of indicting a former president of the United States is deeply troubling to me as it is to tens of millions of Americans and, particularly, happening in what appears to be a politically charged environment in New York where the Attorney General and other elected officials literally campaigned on a pledge to prosecute [former president Trump],” Pence said.

A reporter asked again, “But if he broke the law?”

Pence said, “No one is above the law. I’m confident President Trump can take care of himself. My focus is going to continue to be on the issues that are affecting the American people today.”

In a post on Truth Social, a conservative social media site, Trump said he expected to be arrested and indicted Tuesday.

Trump also called on supporters to protest.

In response to Trump’s call for his supporters to protest the legal proceedings, Pence said Americans have the right to peacefully protest, but denounced any violent action.

Ernst also emphasized the need for protests to avoid violence. “They need to be peaceful. What we don’t want to see is violence. Protests are OK when they’re done in the right way.”

Pence was making his second trip to Iowa this year ahead of the 2024 Iowa Republican caucuses. He rallied Republicans in Cedar Rapids last month during an appearance with Gov. Kim Reynolds.

Asked whether he has a timeline for a possible announcement of a presidential bid, Pence said he and his wife, Karen, expect to have a decision by “springtime.”

This article first appeared in the Iowa Capital Dispatch, a sister site of the Nebraska Examiner in the States Newsroom Network.

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Luke Clausen
Luke Clausen

Luke Clausen is a reporting intern with Iowa Capital Dispatch. He is a student at Drake University studying Multimedia Journalism, Magazine and Brand Media, and International Relations. Additionally, he helps to manage the Ambassador-in-Residence initiative at Drake with Ambassador Terry Branstad and Drake's Global Engagement team.