Conservative businessman and presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy announced Tuesday that he sent a letter to his 2024 rivals demanding they either pardon former President Donald Trump if they win the election, or explain their decision not to.
Trump announced his indictment late last week and faces 37 charges for the alleged mishandling of over 300 classified documents the FBI uncovered at his Mar-a-Lago home in August. Ramaswamy has been outspoken on defending the former president and challenged all of his 2024 opponents, Republicans and Democrats alike, to join him in pledging to pardon Trump or detail why they won’t, he said in Miami, Florida, ahead of Trump’s arraignment this afternoon.
“I will tell you that we have sent this letter and I’m happy to announce this is my commitment on January 20th, 2025, if I’m elected the next U.S. president, to pardon Donald J. Trump for these offenses in this federal case,” said Ramaswamy. “And I have challenged — I have demanded that every other candidate in this race either sign this commitment to pardon on January 20th, 2025, or else to explain why they are not.”
“It’s going to be difficult for those other candidates to sign this letter. The reason it’s going to be difficult for them is the same reason it’s difficult for me. The donor class has been calling every Republican candidate and telling us to stay away from this, not to touch it from a 10 foot pole. Keep your distance away from Trump,” said Ramaswamy. “If you are not going to pardon President Trump on January 20, 2025, you deserve to say why and we will hold you accountable just as we are holding the Biden Administration accountable.”
Ramaswamy said Biden’s Department of Justice must be held accountable, which is why his campaign sent a Freedom of Information Act request on Monday demanding records related to the Trump indictment, as well as an explanation from U.S. Attorney Merrick Garland and Special Counsel Jack Smith, who spearheaded the documents probe. The conservative businessman also announced that he will sue the DOJ in federal courts if they do not provide the information requested within the 20 business days they are required to.
“It would be a lot easier for me as a Republican candidate in this race if Donald Trump were not in it. But I don’t want to win this election, unlike others, by eliminating our competition by a federal administrative police state arresting my opponents,” said Ramaswamy.
Trump is set to appear in a federal courthouse in Miami at 3 p.m. Tuesday, where he will face 31 counts of alleged violation of the Espionage Act, as well as several others including obstruction, withholding documents and making false statements.
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