Pence says after federal indictment 'crackpot lawyers' told Trump what he wanted to hear

Pence said he had hoped his former running mate would not be indicted. 

Published: August 3, 2023 10:49am

Updated: August 3, 2023 12:15pm

Former Vice President Mike Pence said after former President Donald Trump was indicted for allegedly challenging the 2020 election results that "crackpot lawyers" surrounded Trump and told him what he wanted to hear. 

Pence told reporters Wednesday at the Indiana State Fair that he had hoped his former boss – with whom he's now competing for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination – would not be indicted. 

Pence reiterated what he has said for years – that the vice president does not have the right to reject the election while presiding over Congress as it certified the Electoral College votes despite what Trump and some of his allies have said.

The indictment centers on Trump's alleged involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol that was an apparent attempt stop the certification, on which Trump presided. 

"The first time I heard in early December somebody suggest that as vice president I might be able to decide which votes to reject and which to accept, I knew that it was false," Pence said, according to The Hill. "I dismissed it out of hand. Sadly, the president was surrounded by a group of crackpot lawyers that kept telling him what his itching ears wanted to hear."

Trump was indicted Tuesday on four federal charges. The indictment also lists six unnamed co-conspirators, including four who are described as attorneys.

Pence, who is competing against Trump in the 2024 Republican presidential primary, tweeted shortly after the former president was charged that the "indictment serves as an important reminder: anyone who puts himself over the Constitution should never be President of the United States."

Follow Madeleine Hubbard on Twitter or Instagram.

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