In a recent interview with NewsNation, former New Jersey Governor and 2024 GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie made it clear that he would not be granting former President Donald Trump a pardon if he were found guilty in the ongoing prosecution over the DOJ’s classified documents.
When responding to a question from Anchor Chris Cuomo about the possibility of pardoning Trump, should the need arise, Christie said that he “can’t imagine” granting a presidential pardon in a world where he is the POTUS and the leading GOP presidential aspirant is found guilty.
GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie said he “can’t imagine” a presidential pardon for former President Trump if the Republican frontrunner is found guilty in the classified documents case. https://t.co/XL35d4FIdd
— The Hill (@thehill) July 14, 2023
“I can’t imagine a circumstance, as we see it right now, let’s say with the documents case, which is the only one that the president would have jurisdiction over, given what’s alleged in the indictment, if that were proven, and… the former president were found guilty, as long as I thought he got a fair trial… I would have a hard time considering any pardon,” he stated.
Furthermore, Christie emphasized that accepting responsibility is a crucial factor in granting a pardon, expressing doubt that Trump would ever accept responsibility for his actions.
“And by the way, as you know, to get a pardon, you have to also accept responsibility for what you did. I doubt very highly that Donald Trump would ever do that. And so I can’t imagine a pardon being issued,” he added.
In addition to discussing pardons, he criticized Trump’s suggestion of potentially skipping the primary debates, referring to the former president as a “coward” if he fails to participate in the debates.
“When you’re way up, you don’t do debates. If you’re even or down you do debates, but when you’re way up, what’s the purpose of doing the debate?” Trump had said months ago speaking on the “Cats & Cosby Show.”
However, Christie believes that Trump should “stand on the stage” and “defend his record and conduct.” He also added that he believes Trump’s ego is “much too large” to resist the temptation of the debate stage.
This would not be the first time Christie would express hesitation at the possibility of granting Trump a pardon if he manages to secure the White House win. Speaking on Now This News in June, he stated that he would not pardon the former president based on the information available to him.
Interestingly, other Republican candidates for the 2024 presidential nomination have differing views on the question of granting the GOP frontrunner pardon should he be found guilty in the case in which he faces 37 counts.
Vivek Ramaswamy has pledged to pardon Trump if elected, a promise that earned him criticism from Asa Hutchinson who believes that Trump’s legal issues should disqualify him.
Like Ramaswamy, the female candidate in the bunch, Nikki Haley has expressed her inclination towards a pardon for Trump if he were to be convicted of federal charges. However, for Mike Pence, Trump’s former Vice President who is also gunning for the GOP nomination, discussions about pardoning Trump are “premature.”