"I'm taken aback at the idea of indicting a former president of the United States," the former vice president told ABC News.
Former Vice President Mike Pence, a potential 2024 presidential candidate, said the looming indictment of Donald Trump
is "just not what the American people want to see."
"I'm taken aback at the idea of indicting a former president of the United States, at a time when there's a crime wave in New York City," Pence told ABC's "This Week" in a sit-down interview that aired on Sunday. "The fact that the Manhattan DA thinks that indicting President Trump is his top priority, I think just tells you everything you need to know about the radical left in this country."
The potential indictment, which could be made by a New York grand jury as soon as next week, after a final witness is called on Monday, stems from a $130,000 hush-money payment given to adult film star Stormy Daniels.
Trump's personal attorney at the time, Michael Cohen, testified that Trump directed him to pay Stormy Daniels to prevent her from speaking publicly about an alleged affair with the presidential candidate ahead of the 2016 election.
Pence called the probe a "politically charged prosecution."
After speculating that the indictment could come as soon as Tuesday, Trump on Saturday called for his supporters to protest and "take our nation back" in a post on his social media platform, Truth Social. His defense team said that that speculation was based only on "press reports," and that the district attorney's office has made no official announcement.
"WE JUST CAN'T ALLOW THIS ANYMORE," Trump wrote on Saturday. "THEY'RE KILLING OUR NATION AS WE SIT BACK & WATCH. WE MUST SAVE AMERICA!PROTEST, PROTEST, PROTEST!!!"
During the broadcast of "This Week" on Sunday, host Jonathan Karl raised concerns about Trump's remarks — which were reminiscent of his comments prior to the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.
"The American people have a constitutional right to peacefully assemble," Pence responded. "I believe people understand that if they give voice to this, if this occurs on Tuesday, that they need to do so peacefully and in a lawful manner."
He continued: "The violence that occurred on Jan. 6...the violence that occurred in cities throughout this country in the summer of 2020 was a disgrace. The American people won't tolerate it and those that engage in that kind of violence should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."