On Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Saturday program, Pence said he was “taken aback” at the news former President Donald Trump could be indicted and arrested. Trump announced on Saturday morning he was expected to be arrested on Tuesday on charges relating to hush-money payments he made to porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016, during his first campaign for president.
“Well, like many Americans, I'm just, I'm taken aback,” Pence told host Matt Boyle. “You have a major crime wave in New York, especially in New York City. You have literally a Democratic party that's literally dismantled the criminal justice system in that city, undercut the NYPD, and this is what the Manhattan DA says is their top priority?”
Pence stopped short of defending Trump but echoed his criticisms of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and his pursuit of the former president, years after Bragg’s predecessor Cyrus Vance Jr. decided not to bring charges in the same case.
Trump slammed Bragg’s office as “corrupt and highly political” in his Truth Social post on Saturday.
And several Republican officials came to Trump’s defense, saying the investigation is a clear “abuse of power.”
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) promised to open an investigation into Bragg’s office to determine whether federal funds have been diverted to the attempt to prosecute Trump.
“Here we go again — an outrageous abuse of power by a radical DA who lets violent criminals walk as he pursues political vengeance against President Trump,” McCarthy (R-CA) said in a tweet on Saturday. “I’m directing relevant committees to immediately investigate if federal funds are being used to subvert our democracy by interfering in elections with politically motivated prosecutions.”
Pence kept the stream of attacks up in his radio appearance, raising the specter of one of Trump’s greatest grievances while he was in office.
“It reeks of the kind of political prosecution that we endured back in the days of the Russia hoax and the whole impeachment over a phone call,” Pence said.
However, Pence, who is expected to announce a run for the White House later this year, pivoted away from the political attack on Trump to question whether putting Trump in jail is a smart use of resources for Democrats.
“I mean, the reality is the American people are hurting. Just this last week, we saw a couple of bank failures that are driven by liberal policies on the West Coast and on the East Coast,” Pence said. “You have inflation at a 40-year high. Wages are stagnant. … And so I have to tell you, I'm going to stay focused on the challenges facing the American people. It's what people talk to me about as I travel around America.”