Following suit with other Republicans, Former Vice President Mike Pence slammed the indictment of former President Donald Trump in an exclusive interview Thursday with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
In the interview, which aired live hours after news broke of Trump’s indictment by a Manhattan grand jury, Pence admitted that “no one is above the law,” but still maintained that the indictment is “an outrage.”
“I really do believe that this decision today is a great disservice to the country, and the idea that for the first time in American history a former president would be indicted on a campaign finance issue, to me it just smacks of political prosecution, and I think the overwhelming majority of the American people will see it that way,” Pence told Blitzer.
Asked whether he thought there were any circumstances that made it appropriate to criminally prosecute a former president, Pence replied: “No one is above the law.”
He added: “Including former presidents, to be clear on that point. The American people know this. But this case, a controversy over campaign finance, I can’t speak to the merit of this case at all … should never have risen to unprecedented historic prosecution.”
Trump’s indictment on Thursday appears to center on an investigation of a $130,000 hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels shortly before the 2016 election.
The Manhattan grand jury’s probe of the former president’s involvement in the hush money scheme has been ongoing for years. Other investigations of the former president include one into his attempts to change the results of the 2020 election and another into his involvement in inciting a mob to attack the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
When Blitzer asked Pence if he was willing to testify before a federal grand jury over the Capitol riot, the former vice president maintained he had “nothing to hide” but stopped short of saying he would testify.
Pence has previously suggested that he would make an effort to avoid testifying in both the Jan. 6 probe and 2020 election results probe. He had blocked a subpoena to appear before a federal grand jury for the Jan. 6 investigation, but earlier this week a judge ordered Pence to comply with the subpoena in the 2020 election investigation, and on Wednesday Pence hinted that he might drop legal battles to avoid testifying.