CHARLESTON, S.C.—The afternoon of March 18, only hours after rumors of Donald Trump’s possible indictment by Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg in the Stormy Daniels affair went flying around the internet, insurgent presidential candidate entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy called upon two other fellow candidates, announced Nikki Haley and presumed Ron DeSantis, to join him in a vehement condemnation of this potential action.
Calling it “persecution, not prosecution” Ramaswamy made this call at the Vision ’24 National Conservative Forum at the Charleston Area Convention Center where Haley was speaking. She never mentioned the Trump indictment in her speech that preceded Ramaswamy’s.
Ramaswamy acknowledged that it would be to the possible advantage of other Republican candidates were Trump to be indicted or even wind up behind bars, but insisted this was an important matter of principle that all candidates should agree upon.
Using the justice system to punish or destroy political opponents in the midst of a campaign is the absolute wrong way to govern a constitutional republic, let alone a democracy of any sort. It is the road to being a banana republic.
Ironically, it might be Ramaswamy, the most overtly MAGA candidate besides Trump himself, who would profit most were the 45th president find himself unable to run.
Earlier in the day, the candidate had posted the following on Twitter:
“A Trump indictment would be a national disaster. It is un-American for the ruling party to use police power to arrest its political rivals. If a Republican prosecutor in 2004 had used a campaign finance technicality to arrest then-candidate John Kerry while Bush & Cheney were in power, liberals would have cried foul – and rightly so. Principles go beyond partisanship. Let the American people decide who governs. This will mark a dark moment in American history and will undermine public trust in our electoral system itself. I call on the Manhattan District Attorney to reconsider this action and to put aside partisan politics in service of preserving our Constitutional republic.”
As of this writing, no other candidate other than Trump himself—that I know of—from either side has made a public statement on the potential indictment.
Traveling in South Carolina with the Ramaswamy campaign, the candidate told The Epoch Times he is making this public announcement in part to discourage Bragg from going ahead. It’s not easy to predict what would flow from such an indictment but, judging from what I have seen on the internet and heard in conversation here, it would not be pretty.
A country that is already riven almost as no time since the Civil War would be driven further apart. Ramaswamy is not going too far in using the word “disaster” in his tweet. It is also, as he said “a dark moment.”
I will have much more to say about my observations of the Ramaswamy campaign after I have watched him speak at the Rock Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Manning, South Carolina.
One thing I will say now: his campaign is not as much of a long shot as I thought it was.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.