Washington : Indian-American tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, who has has joined the fray for the Republican Party’s 2024 presidential nomination, has vowed to “promptly” pardon indicted former President Donald Trump if elected to the White House next year.
“It would be much easier for me to win this election if Trump weren’t in the race, but I stand for principles over politics. I commit to pardon Trump promptly on January 20, 2025 and to restore the rule of law in our country,” Ramaswamy tweeted on Friday.
The remarks by Ramaswamy, who is campaigning on ‘anti-woke’ credentials, came after the Department of Justice (DOJ) charged Trump with a 37-count indictment, accusing the former President of risking sensitive security secrets after leaving office in 2021.
Trump is the first former American President to face federal charges, which include willful retention of national defence information, conspiracy to obstruct justice, withholding a document or record, corruptly concealing a document or a record, concealing a document in a federal investigation, scheme to conceal, and making false statements and representations.
Trump, who is running for a second presidential term and has been the frontrunner candidate among the Republicans, praised fellow candidate Ramaswamy after the political newbie polled even with former Vice President Mike Pence in a survey last month.
Ramaswamy said in his post that one cannot have two tiers of justice — one for Trump, another for Biden.
“I never thought we’d see the day when the US President deputises the DOJ to arrest his lead rival in the middle of an election,” the 37 year-old biotech executive said.
In an interview to The New York Post, Ramaswamy also heaped praises on Trump, saying that the former president “sets a high bar”.
“He’s a friend. I know him. I genuinely believe he cares about national unity,” Ramaswamy had said.
Asserting that there are also serious legal questions about the President’s power to declassify documents, Ramaswamy called the move by the DOJ in charging Trump as “hypocritical”.
“This is an affront to every citizen: we cannot devolve into a banana republic where the party in power uses police force to arrest its political opponents. Ita�s hypocritical for the DOJ to selectively prosecute Trump but not Biden,” Ramaswamy said.
Apart from Ramaswamy, fellow Republican candidate and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis slammed the indictment, saying that there had been what he called double standards in issuing charges.
At a party convention in Greensboro, North Carolina, DeSantis flayed what he called “weaponisation” of government agencies.
However, he did not mention Trump by name in his speech.Trump is due in federal court on June 13 and called it “a dark day” for the country.
“I am an innocent man,” Trump wrote on Truth Social, adding that he has been “indicted, seemingly over the Boxes Hoax”.