(Ben Sellers, Headline USA) Former Vice President Mike Pence came to the defense of his former boss and current campaign rival, former President Donald Trump, during a speech Saturday at the North Carolina Republican Convention in Greensboro.
“You know, we gather here in North Carolina on a sad day: a former president of the United States facing an unprecedented indictment by a justice department run by the current president of the United States—and a potential political rival,” Pence said.
“Now, we as Republicans know no one is above the law, but after years of politicization that I lived through when I was your vice president … the slow walk of investigations into the president and his family have undermined confidence of the American people,” Pence said.
Pence listed off several of the low points in the corrupt DOJ’s dubious seven-year history of political meddling:
- “that campaign in 2016 when Hillary Clinton was exonerated by the FBI in the leadup to the election”
- “two and a half years of Russia hoax—and thanks to the Durham report we know that investigation never really should have begun”
- “the disgraceful collusion that took place between Big Tech and Big Media”
- “that a Democratic Party would cover up the disclosure of a laptop owned by the president’s son in the days leading up to the 2020 campaign”
Pence said he had already expressed his hope that Biden’s politicized DOJ would find its moral compass and heal itself, but the suspiciously timed Trump indictment, which dropped the very day that FBI Director Christopher Wray agreed to give the House Oversight Committee a document detailing a $5 million bribery scheme involving then-Vice President Joe Biden and Ukraine.
“I had hoped the Department of Justice would see its way clear to resolve the issues involving the former president without an indictment, and I am deeply troubled to see this indictment performed,” Pence said.
“It’s vastly further divided our country at a time when the American people are struggling like never before, and at a time when the world is becoming almost more dangerous by the hour,” he continued.
Pence reiterated that Trump remained innocent until proven guilty, despite the rush to judgment by much of the mainstream media.
He also called for the Justice Department to provide transparency by unsealing the indictment so the American people could know what the charges were.
“Today, I am calling on the attorney general to stand before the American people and explain why this was necessary in his words,” Pence said. “Attorney General Merrick Garland, stop hiding behind the special counsel and stand before the American people.”
Pence’s criticism of the weaponized DOJ was the extent of his display of solidarity with Trump. In other parts of the speech, the gloves were off between the two former running mates.
That included a defense of his decision not to back Trump’s plan to consider alternate electors during the joint session of Congress to confirm the outcome of the Electoral College vote on Jan. 6, 2021.
“Jan. 6 was a tragic day in the life of this nation, and thanks to the courage of law enforcement, the violence was quelled and we reconvened Congress the very same day,” Pence said.
“It gives me no pleasure to say it, but on that fateful day, the American people deserve to know that President Trump demanded that I choose between him and the Constitution,” Pence continued. “Well, I chose the Constitution, and I always will.”
Pence also drew stark contrast between himself and other Republicans—and offered his share of rebukes for fellow party members—over three other issues where he accused them of deviating from the party’s roots.
He rejected the idea—floated by some in the GOP—that the party’s 2022 losses might be due in part to the overturn of Roe v. Wade having energized the Democrat base.
“The sanctity of life has been our party’s calling for a half a century, and now some are treating it as an inconvenience, saying some states are passing laws that are too harsh,” Pence said. “… As your president, I promise you, I will always stand without apology for the sanctity of human life, and I will never rest until we restore the sanctity of life to the center of American law in every state.”
Pence also criticized the government’s profligate spending, doling out blame to both Democrats and Republicans. “Big spending’s become a lot more bipartisan these days,” he said.
Ironically, Pence voiced his support for one of the Biden administration’s biggest financial quagmires, the nebulous Ukraine shadow war, for which America has committed some $150 billion and counting, with no end in sight.
While many suspect Biden’s interests in the conflict are less-than-savory—whether to reap returns on his Burisma investments, to placate neo-Nazi NATO globalists or to cover-up illegal bioweapons facilities.
For Pence, however, Ukraine’s defense was sacrosanct, whatever the price.
“It’s an unprovoked invasion driven by one man, Vladmir Putin, and America must continue to provide the courageous soldiers of Ukraine with the resources they need to repel the Russian invasion and restore their sovereignty,” he said.
Ben Sellers is the editor of Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/realbensellers.