Pence weighs in: Trump conviction ‘only further divides us’

Pence weighs in: Trump conviction ‘only further divides us’

Former Vice President Mike Pence called the conviction of his ex-boss, former President Trump, in his New York hush money case an “outrage” that “further divides us,” jumping to the defense of the man he’s declined to endorse in this year’s presidential race.

“The conviction of former President Trump on politically motivated charges is an outrage and disservice to the nation,” Pence told Fox News Digital. “No one is above the law, but our courts must not become a tool to be used against political opponents.”

Pence echoed Trump’s criticisms of the case, calling it a “political prosecution,” and said he trusts the conviction will be overturned on appeal.

“This conviction also sends a terrible message to the wider world about the American justice system and only further divides us at a time when the American people are struggling under the failed policies of the Biden administration at home and abroad,” Pence said.

Trump became the first former president to be convicted of a felony on Thursday, when a jury in Manhattan found him guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records in a case related to a hush money payment made in 2016.

The former president has railed against the “rigged” trial, bashed the verdict and argued that he’s “a very innocent man.” Many in the GOP have rushed to his defense, including some potential running mate contenders.

Pence ran with Trump and won the White House on the 2016 ticket and was a loyal second-in-command during the administration.

But the pair broke after the Jan. 6, 2021, riots at the Capitol. Pence also lodged an unsuccessful presidential bid to challenge Trump for this year’s nomination, emerging as an outspoken critic.

“It should come as no surprise that I will not be endorsing Donald Trump this year,” he said in March, months after dropping out of the GOP primary.

—Updated at 1:36 p.m.

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.