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GOP Candidates Have Spoken About Their Apparent Promises To Pardon Donald Trump

Two long shot Republican candidates in the 2024 presidential race have gone further than others in the party in defending former President Donald Trump from his unprecedented federal indictment .

Vivek Ramaswamy and Perry Johnson, both entrepreneurs and both polling in the back of the pack of GOP candidates, have promised to pardon Trump if they are elected president — a pledge that hasn’t been taken up by most of the rest of the field. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has indicated support for a potential presidential pardon but hasn’t been definitive.

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Sunday called such promises “wrong” and “offensive,” comments he echoed on “ABC News Live Prime” on Tuesday.

Trump, who was arraigned in Florida on Tuesday afternoon, is charged with 37 counts including willful retention of national defense information and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Prosecutors allege he illegally retained government secrets after he left the White House and worked to avoid returning them when asked.

Trump has denied wrongdoing and his attorney entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.

On social media, he called his indictment last week a “DARK DAY” for the country.

Ramaswamy appeared outside the federal courthouse in Miami on Tuesday where Trump made his court appearance. There Ramaswamy said that he had sent letters to every other 2024 Republican candidate, seeking to have them also promise to pardon Trump.

Presidents can only pardon people convicted of federal crimes, not state crimes. Trump separately faces felony state charges in New York City related to hush money he paid to an adult film actress before the 2016 election. He has pleaded not guilty.

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