BY Johnathan Jones, The Western JournalJune 15, 2023
1 year ago
 | June 15, 2023
1 year ago

GOP Candidates Asked if They Would Pardon Trump - Here's Where They Stand

Several Republican presidential candidates have been asked whether they would pardon former President Donald Trump after the Justice Department’s indictment of him.

On Tuesday, Trump pleaded not guilty to 37 federal charges related to the alleged mishandling of classified documents after he left the White House.

The case could potentially put Trump behind bars for the rest of his life -- adding another layer to the executive branch’s already unprecedented decision to go after a former president.

GOP presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy has been a vocal opponent of that decision and has asked others in the race to pledge to pardon Trump in the event that they win the nomination and later the general election.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has signaled that he would pardon Trump if elected.

"We will be aggressive issuing pardons," he said last month during an interview on "The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show," ABC News reported.

DeSantis said his pardons would also apply to people who were present during the Capitol incursion.

Former Vice President Mike Pence declined to say if he would pardon Trump when he spoke with Sexton and Travis.

“Well, first off, these are serious charges. And as I said, I can’t defend what’s been alleged, but the president does deserve to make his defense,” he said, according to The Guardian.

“Look, I have been a former governor,” he added. “I’ve actually granted pardons to people. And I take the pardon authority very seriously. It’s an enormously important power of someone in an executive position. And I just think it’s premature to have any conversation about that right now.”

Nikki Haley also spoke with Sexton and Travis on Tuesday, Politico reported.

She said Trump had been “incredibly reckless with our national security” but said it would be “terrible for the country to have a former president in prison for years because of a documents case.”

“So I would be inclined in favor of a pardon," she concluded.

Chris Christie said he would not pardon Trump during a radio interview with Fox News host Brian Kilmeade.

“I can’t imagine if he gets a fair trial that I would pardon him," he said.

The former New Jersey governor added, “To accept a pardon, you have to admit your guilt. To accept a pardon, you have to say, 'Yes, I was wrong and I accept the pardon.' I can’t imagine Donald Trump would ever do that.”

Larry Elder, meanwhile, was more cryptic.

When asked by Fox News on Wednesday if he would sign Ramaswamy’s pledge to pardon Trump, Elder said he is “not running for President to play silly games and respond to every candidate’s demands."

Elder did add, "As President, I would instruct my Attorney General to drop the politically-motivated charges against Trump.”

Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina has not said whether he would pardon Trump.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Johnathan Jones, The Western Journal



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