Former Vice President Mike Pence called former President Donald Trump’s actions during the Jan. 6 protest at the U.S. Capitol “reckless,” but said he isn’t “confident” his former boss committed any crimes.
“I have said many times that the president’s words were reckless that day. I had no right to overturn the election. But while his words were reckless, I, based on what I know, I’m not yet convinced that they were criminal. I obviously wasn’t there for every meeting,” Pence said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Last week, Trump announced he received a letter from Special Counsel Jack Smith stating that he is the target of a Jan. 6 grand jury investigation. The former president said he anticipates both an arrest and indictment.
Pence, who is running for president in the 2024 election, said he hopes “it does not come to” an indictment against Trump regarding the 2020 election and Jan. 6, while noting that he believes he personally handled the day well.
“I know I did my duty that day,” Pence told CNN’s Dana Bash.
“In one town hall after another, across New Hampshire, I heard a deep concern… about the unequal treatment of the law, and I think one more indictment against the former president will only contribute to that sense among the American people,” Pence said. “I would rather that these issues and the judgment about his conduct on Jan. 6 be left to the American people in the upcoming primaries, and I’ll leave it at that.”
Pence added that he didn’t “know what [Trump’s] intention was” on Jan. 6, 2021, and summed up what he witnessed from the former president as “reckless.”
“I believe that history will hold him accountable. I believe that Republican primary voters know that we need new leadership in this party. I know that some of the pundits and the pollsters think it’s different out there,” Pence continued.
If indicted over Jan. 6, this would be the third indictment Trump has faced this year.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office charged Trump in March in regard to payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election. Trump pleaded not guilty in that case and has denied sleeping with Daniels or falsifying business records to keep the payment concealed.
Trump was indicted again in June related to alleged willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and false statements. Trump pleaded not guilty and dismissed the charges as a “witch hunt.”
Trump slammed the Department of Justice after receiving a letter showing he is the target of a grand jury investigation into his actions on Jan. 6, calling the matter another “witch hunt.”
“Joe Biden’s Attorney General, Merrick Garland, who I turned down for the United States Supreme Court (in retrospect, based on his corrupt and unethical actions, a very wise decision!), together with Joe Biden’s Department of Injustice, have effectively issued a third indictment and arrest of Joe Biden’s NUMBER ONE POLITICAL OPPONENT, who is largely dominating him in the race for the Presidency,” Trump wrote on Truth Social last week.