Former Vice President Mike Pence is expressing hope the Department of Justice will not move forward with charges against the 45th president related to the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
During an appearance on Fox News on Monday, Pence said, “When it comes to the Justice Department’s decision about bringing charges in the future, I would hope that they would not bring charges against the former president.”
“As I wrote in my book, I think the president’s actions and words on January 6th were reckless. But I don’t know that it’s is criminal to take bad advice from lawyers,” he continued. “And so I hope the Justice Department is clear.”
Watch the video below:
Mike Pence: "I would hope the [DOJ] would not bring charges against the former President…I think the President's actions and words on Jan. 6 were reckless, but I don't know that it's criminal to take bad advice from lawyers." pic.twitter.com/U8l4v3zfOQ
— The Republican Accountability Project (@AccountableGOP) December 19, 2022
Co-host Dana Perino interjected to note, “There might be criminal referrals on that, too. Well, so we’ll see on that.”
However, Pence responded, “I hope the Justice Department understands the magnitude of the very idea of indicting a former president of the United States.”
“I think that would be terribly divisive in the country at a time when the American people want to see us heal,” he added.
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) blasted Pence for his comments as he tweeted, “Dear [Pence]: Remember when Donald Trump told insurrectionists to specifically target you on Jan 6? Remember how some of them wanted to hang you? Remember how you feared for your life?”
“Also, I saw your spine being sold on eBay for $1.99,” he added.
Dear @Mike_Pence: Remember when Donald Trump told insurrectionists to specifically target you on Jan 6? Remember how some of them wanted to hang you? Remember how you feared for your life?
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) December 19, 2022
Bill Kristol, the director of Defending Democracy Together, wrote, “No need to say this I suppose, but of course all of Trump’s serious lawyers warned him against insurrection.”
No need to say this I suppose, but of course all of Trump’s serious lawyers warned him against insurrection. https://t.co/OsMgReC2pm
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) December 19, 2022
According to NBC News, the Jan. 6 committee will meet to vote to “pursue at least three criminal charges against Trump related to the Capitol riot: obstructing an official proceeding, conspiracy to defraud the government and inciting or assisting an insurrection.”
The move would be the first time Congress made a criminal referral for a former president.
However, it would also mostly be symbolic as the Justice Department does not have to consider criminal referrals from a Congressional committee. It is also conducting its own investigation of the riot.
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