Thursday, 30 Nov 2023

Trump's indictment divides 2024 Republican hopefuls


Trump's indictment divides 2024 Republican hopefuls

Republican presidential candidates Vivek Ramaswamy and Asa Hutchinson Sunday articulated vastly different plans for how they'd approach the federal indictment against former President Donald Trump should either capture the White House in 2024.

Contenders for the GOP nomination are grappling to strike the right tone on Trump, seen as the GOP front-runner to take on President Joe Biden next year, as they look to build their support among Republican primary voters.

Trump is facing his first federal indictment for retention of classified documents and conspiracy with a top aide to hide them from the government and his own attorneys - a total of 37 counts.

Ramaswamy, who vowed to pardon Trump if elected president before details of the 37-count indictment were revealed, doubled down Sunday, telling CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union" that after "reading that indictment and looking at the selective omissions of both fact and law," he was "even more convinced that a pardon is the right answer here."

Ramaswamy acknowledged that he "would not have taken those documents with me," but the tech entrepreneur maintained there was a difference between "bad judgment and breaking the law."

Those comments stood in contrast to Hutchinson, who called Ramaswamy's vow to pardon Trump "simply wrong" in a separate interview on "State of the Union" later Sunday.

"It is simply wrong for a candidate to use the pardon power of the United States of the president in order to curry votes, and in order to get an applause line. It is just wrong," the former Arkansas governor told Bash.

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