In recent remarks, former Vice President Pence worked to sidestep comments about Donald Trump’s most recent indictment stemming from his alleged mishandling of classified documents.
News of the indictment isn’t deterring many of Trump’s supporters and Republican voters.
In fact, they’re championing harder than ever for the former president.
A recent CBS News poll found that 76 percent of likely GOP primary voters believe the indictment was politically motivated. If he’s convicted, 80 percent of those same likely voters say Trump should be able to serve as president.
As for his former running mate, now-presidential hopeful former Vice President Mike Pence sat down with NBC’s “Meet The Press” host Chuck Todd on Sunday to talk about about the indictment, among other things. It wasn’t much of a discussion as Pence circumvented any straightforward responses about Trump and, instead, used the time to point to Hunter Biden’s charges, a recent discovery that President Biden also privately possessed some classified documents, and the Black Lives Matter protests.
Pence’s most forthright comment for Todd was, “We have an indictment. And as I said, the allegations are serious. And the proper approach now is for equal treatment under the law.”
That’s when Pence said he would like to see the Department of Justice bring “equal vigor to the investigation into allegations around Hunter Biden.”
The allegations Pence is alluding to involve Hunter Biden’s reported sketchy foreign dealings with Ukraine and China, leading to questions about sizable amounts of income he neglected to disclose on his tax returns in the past. Biden just pled guilty to two federal tax misdemeanors in a related investigation. That investigation found that Biden failed to pay his taxes, but prosecutors did not find cause to file charges for his dealings with foreign entities or implicate him for other wrongdoing.
Pence also used the time to mention President Biden’s alleged possession of classified documents as a mirror to Trump’s case.
In November 2022, classified materials were found in an office Biden used in Washington at the end of his time as vice president and at the beginning of his 2020 presidential campaign. FBI agents found more documents in Biden’s home in Delaware a short time later.
A special counsel has been appointed to investigate the matter, just as one was appointed for Trump. Biden recently said that a “packing issue” is to blame for the way the documents were arranged, but is open to the investigation playing out.
“The American people would like to see evidence that we don’t have a two-tiered system of justice,” Pence said.
Reactions to Pence’s comments are pouring in online, with some saying he’s just talking “in circles” and others noting that he’s trying to “play it both ways” when it comes to Trump to not upset his supporters.
While noting what he believes a supposed lack of accountability in the Bidens’ cases, he also made mention of the waves of Black Lives Matter protests across the country following George Floyd’s murder.
“Under the Biden administration, we’ve literally seen the Justice Department targeting parents going to school board meetings, targeting pro-life activists. I’m still waiting for the rash of prosecutions of people involved in the BLM riots from the summer of 2020.”
Pence says he’s awaiting accountability after “billions of dollars in damage” was done in “hundreds of riots” following George Floyd’s death.
In actuality, tens of thousands of BLM demonstrators were arrested for mostly low-level offenses like breaking curfew and obstructing roadways, according to USA Today. Some were charged with burglary, looting, property damage, and vandalism.
Bypassing answers to questions on Trump is nothing new for Pence, especially with multiple investigations against Trump at play. The former vice president has had to tiptoe around comments on his former running mate to maintain GOP support up in the midst of his presidential campaign and has said nothing damning enough to provoke Trump followers.
He was pressured by Trump to show his vehement support for him during the 2021 Capitol insurrection in which they both exchanged some charged words against each other.
While the insurrection was taking place and rioters were chanting “hang Mike Pence!” Trump, in typical form, was on Twitter. He said Pence didn’t have the “courage” to “protect our country and our Constitution” by refusing to certify the outcome of the election for Joe Biden, words that Pence called “reckless” in response, saying Trump chose to “be part of the problem.”
On the topic of the DOJ indictment, Pence recently spoke to the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board, saying he “can’t defend what is alleged.”
On the subject of separate indictment brought by the Manhattan district attorney against Trump over his hush money payoffs to porn star Stormy Daniels during his 2016 campaign, Pence called it “a disgrace” during his visit in April to the University of Alabama.
“The very idea that you would indict the former president of the United States of America on a seven-year-old campaign finance issue is an outrage,” Pence said.