Former Vice President Mike Pence has had his very public troubles with his erstwhile governing partner Donald Trump, including when the former president, according to Pence, “endangered” him and his family by publicly pressuring Pence to void the decision of the American people in the 2020 election.
Pence even took some shots at Trump at a recent Washington, D.C. dinner, saying “history will hold Donald Trump accountable” when it comes to the events of January 6.”
But Pence continues to provide cover for Trump as the latter faces legal problems and a possible indictment in New York. Pence watchers are scratching their heads, wondering what it would take for Pence to really break with Trump — or at least remain on the sidelines — as Trump tries to paint a portrait of persecution while being investigated for a half dozen alleged crimes, including special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into his handling of classified documents and attempts to stop President Joe Biden from taking office in 2021.
The New York case, being handled by District Attorney Alvin Bragg — who notably refused to indict Trump in a previous case — is an unusual one for the devout Pence to rally around Trump on, since it involves allegedly paying hush money to a porn star.
Pence might easily refrain from providing Trump cover given the specifics of the potential charge, or even say essentially what Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said: “I don’t know what goes into paying hush money to a porn star to secure silence over some type of affair — I just, I can’t speak to that.”
Instead Pence told ABC News: “At a time when there’s a crime wave in New York City, the fact that the Manhattan DA thinks that indicting President Trump is his top priority just tells you everything you need to know about the radical left.” The former Vice President said he was “taken aback” by the potential indictment.
It’s the “radical left” tag that gives Pence his own political cover. No matter how salacious or illegal Trump’s actions may have been, a strong MAGA contingent that still includes Pence invariably takes the position that charges against Trump must arise from a political agenda, not out of the commission of crime.
While falling in line on Trump’s assertion that the charges originate in “radical” ambitions, what Pence evidently won’t do is refute the facts specifically or follow his former boss’s crass style of objecting to his so-called persecution — Pence doesn’t parrot Trump’s defense, which is in part that he would never have had an affair with the former porn star Stormy Daniels because she has a “horseface.”
On Truth Social, where Trump airs his views and calls for protests, the former President again claimed: “I did NOTHING wrong in the ‘Horseface’ case.” Pence hasn’t backed that claim or characterization, but he maintains that the “radical left” has it in for Trump, which is exactly the line Trump is pitching to his base.