'Disservice to the nation': Former VP Pence breaks silence on Trump's NYC conviction

FIRST ON FOX: Former Vice President Mike Pence reacted on Friday to the criminal conviction of former President Donald Trump in a New York City courtroom and said a “terrible message” has been sent.

“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 continued. “To millions of Americans, this was nothing more than a political prosecution driven by a Manhattan DA who ran for office on a pledge to indict the former president and this conviction undermines confidence in our system of justice,” 


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“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,” he added.

Pence continued, “Having been convicted in a court of law, the former president has every right to appeal this conviction and I trust it will be overturned on appeal in a manner that will restore public confidence in our system of justice and equal treatment under the law.”

Trump was found guilty on Thursday on all counts in his historic and unprecedented criminal trial, making him the first former president of the United States to be convicted of a crime. 

Moments after the verdict was delivered by the jury, the former president spoke to reporters in the hallway outside the courtroom. 

“This was a disgrace. This was a rigged trial by a conflicted judge who was corrupt, as a rigged trial and disgrace. It wouldn’t give us a venue change,” Trump said. “We were at 5% or 6% in this district, in this area. This was a rigged, disgraceful trial.” 

Trump said “the real verdict is going to be Nov. 5 by the people.” 


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Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the Republican Party Of Iowa’s annual Lincoln Dinner in Des Moines, Iowa, US, on Friday, July 28, 2023.  (Rachel Mummey/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Pence joined a long list of Republicans who are defending Trump against the conviction and has previously voiced opposition to the indictment against Trump.

“I think the unprecedented indictment of a former president of the United States on a campaign finance issue is an outrage,” Pence told CNN in March 2023. “And it appears to millions of Americans to be nothing more than a political prosecution.”


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Donald Trump arrives to Trump Tower, Thursday, May 30, 2024 after being found guilty on 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. (Felipe Ramales for Fox News Digital)

Pence, whose relationship soured with Trump after the January 6 riots wherein the president faulted him for refusing to send disputed electoral slates back to state legislatures in his then-role as president of the Senate, said in March he is not endorsing the former president.

“It should come as no surprise that I will not be endorsing Donald Trump this year,” Pence told Fox News at the time.

“I’m incredibly proud of the record of our administration. It was a conservative record that made America more prosperous, more secure and saw conservatives appointed to our courts in a more peaceful world.”

Fox News Digital’s Charles Creitz and Brooke Singman contributed to this report

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