Donald Trump: What have Mike Pence and Ron DeSantis said about the charges?

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Former US President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event in Iowa on 7 JulyReuters

Former US President Donald Trump’s indictment for allegedly plotting to overturn his 2020 election defeat has drawn a mix of responses from his Republican rivals.

While some have backed the former president and criticised the process, others have been less supportive.

The indictment, the third being faced by Mr Trump, caps an inquiry into events which led up to the US Capitol riot on 6 January 2021.

He denies any wrongdoing.

Here are what some of his fellow candidates for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination have said following the charges.

Washington DC is a ‘swamp’ – Ron DeSantis

Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida who has consistently polled second to Mr Trump in the race for the nomination, did not come directly to the former president’s aid following the latest charges.

Despite not mentioning Mr Trump by name, he did suggest the former president would not get a fair trial in Washington because any jury there would reflect what he called the capital’s “swamp mentality”.

“As President, I will end the weaponization of government, replace the FBI Director, and ensure a single standard of justice for all Americans,” he said in a statement on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter.

“Washington DC is a ‘swamp’ and it is unfair to have to stand trial before a jury that is reflective of the swamp mentality,” he added.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaking as he is interviewed by former Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson on 14 July


“I chose the Constitution and I always will” – Mike Pence

Mr Trump’s former vice president said the charges served as an important reminder that “anyone who puts himself over the Constitution should never be President of the United States”.

Mr Pence is considered a key witness in the case because of his insight into the events leading up to the Capitol riot on 6 January 2021. He resisted pressure from the former president to block the certification of Joe Biden’s election victory.

“On January 6th, former President Trump demanded that I choose between him and the Constitution. I chose the Constitution, and I always will,” Mr Pence posted in response to the latest indictment.

Former US Vice President Mike Pence speaking at the Republican Party of Iowa's Lincoln Day Dinner in Des Moines, Iowa on 28 July


Vivek Ramaswamy and Tim Scott

Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy and senator Tim Scott, who have between 3 and 5% in the latest polling, have both come out in support of the former president.

Mr Ramaswamy called the indictment “un-American” and repeated his promise of pardoning Mr Trump if elected president.

Mr Scott avoided using Mr Trump’s name in his statement while claiming the justice department had been weaponised and used against political opponents.

Will Hurd, Chris Christie and Asa Hutchinson

Other outsiders for the GOP nomination have been more critical of the former president.

Sticking to his position which saw him booed in the state of Iowa last week, former Republican congressman Will Hurd said Mr Trump was running for president to “stay out of prison”, adding his denial of the 2020 election results showed he was “unfit for office”.

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie condemned the events of 6 January and said “the disgrace falls most on Donald Trump”, claiming he brought “shame to his presidency”.

Former two-term Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson repeated his position that Trump had “disqualified himself from ever being president again” in response to the latest charges.

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