DeSantis and Haley Express Intent to Pardon Trump if Convicted

In the past week, Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and former Governor Nikki Haley (R-SC) announced their intention to pardon former President Donald Trump if he were convicted on charges across various jurisdictions. A report from The Washington Post on Sunday highlighted their stance, emphasizing that, despite competing against each other and Trump in the 2024 Republican presidential primary, both DeSantis and Haley believe pardoning Trump would contribute to national healing and moving forward from divisions.

“I would pardon Trump if he is found guilty,” Haley said at a New Hampshire campaign stop on Thursday, in answer to a question from a 9-year-old boy.

“A leader needs to think about what’s in the best interest of the country. What’s in the best interest of the country is not to have an 80-year-old man sitting in jail that continues to divide our country,” she said. “What’s in the best interest of the country would be to pardon him so that we can move on as a country and no longer talk about him.”

The following day, in Elkader, Iowa, DeSantis echoed a comparable sentiment, stating during a campaign event, “As a country, we need to move forward.”

“It’s like Ford did to Nixon,” DeSantis explained. “Because you just, you know, the divisions are just not in the country’s interest.”

However, David Axelrod, a former top adviser to President Barack Obama, suggested that the commitment to a pardon, especially from the two candidates consistently polling second and third to Trump, could have broader implications.

“One unstated reason @RonDeSantis & @NikkiHaley have pledged pardons for Trump: fear of what the former president might instruct his supporters in the fall campaign to do if he’s NOT the nominee.”