“The unprecedented indictment of a former president on a campaign finance issue is an outrage,” said former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence during his interview with CNN last night, when asked for his reaction to the announcement that former U.S. President Donald Trump was being indicted by a New York City grand jury.
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer called it an “unprecedented development,” saying that Trump is the first former president to be indicted on criminal charges.
Pence added that the indictment “appears to millions of Americans to be nothing more than a political prosecution” and reminded Blitzer that Manhattan’s District Attorney Alvin Bragg, “ran for office on a pledge to indict the former president.”
Blitzer pushed back on Pence’s statement, saying that the resulting indictment “wasn’t just the prosecutor – the district attorney – it was a grand jury of some 23 people, adding that a majority of the grand jury has to agree to the indictment for it to be viable.
Pence, who said that securing a majority is not always difficult, quoted a line that was also used by Trump's former attorney Alan Dershowitz: “You can indict a ham sandwich.” Pence added that the burden of proof in securing an indictment is “very low.”
Pence also noted that federal prosecutors previously “declined to take the case.”
The previous Manhattan District Attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., also ruled that the prosecution of Trump on these charges was not viable.
Pence said the prosecution “offends the notion of the overwhelming majority of Americans who believe in fairness, who believe in equal treatment before the law.”
He called it a “two-tiered justice system”, saying “the American people have had enough.”
Blitzer commented that the Justice Department under Trump’s administration had charged Michael Cohen, Trump’s lawyer at the time of the Stormy Daniels incident, over the same payments that Trump is being indicted for.
When Blitzer noted that Cohen went to prison for his conviction, Pence responded that part of the reason was because Cohen was found to be “lying to Congress.”
Pence said the media has an “obsession with the investigations into Donald Trump” that is not shared by the American people, “who are struggling under the weight of the failed policies of the Biden administration.”
He then called the indictment “one more example of the criminalization of politics in this country,” saying that it made it “almost impossible to solve the problems in this country.”
Pence, who said he prefers not to discuss “hypotheticals,” said thinks Trump is a long way off from being convicted and did not give an opinion as to whether the Republican candidate should be disqualified from running for U.S. president in 2024. He also noted that a judge could decide to throw the case out before it goes to trial
Dershowitz previously opined on the legal basis of the case and also noted the flimsy legal basis for the case, calling it a “targeted injustice,” and that if Trump were to be indicted, “he’ll probably ultimately win on appeal.”
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.