Driving the news: “But I would hope the Justice Department would give careful consideration before they take any additional steps in this matter,” Pence said during the interview airing Sunday.
- Pence criticized the Department of Justice for executing the search warrant at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence, saying it “sent the wrong message.”
- “I put the blame for the decision to execute a search warrant at the personal residence of the former President of the United States on the leadership of the Justice Department,” he said.
- “It’s inconceivable to me that that wasn’t a decision that was made at the very highest levels, and approved at the highest levels.”
- “It was a divisive message in this country. But I think worse still, it was the wrong message to the wider world that looks to America as the gold standard,” he said.
- “I want to see the credibility of the Justice Department restored after years of politicization during the Trump-Pence administration,” he added.
What he’s saying: Pence also said that Trump ahead of Jan. 6 was “repeating … what he was hearing from that gaggle of attorneys around him.”
- “I don’t know if it is criminal to listen to bad advice from lawyers,” Pence said when asked whether Trump committed a criminal act in connection with the Capitol riot.
The big picture: Pence would not say definitively whether he will seek election in 2024.
- Earlier this week, the former vice president said in an interview with AP that he and his family will consider over the holidays “what our role might be in the days ahead.”
- When asked about whether Trump should seek re-election he said, “I do think we’ll have better choices.”