Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida and Nikki Haley, former Governor of South Carolina, have pledged to pardon Donald Trump if he is ever sentenced as a result of the ongoing investigations into his alleged involvement in criminal activity. The news comes amid a flurry of legal activity regarding Trump’s alleged misdeeds and, should the possibility of prosecution be on the table for the former president, DeSantis and Haley’s gesture of support could be seen as an attempt to ensure that Trump would remain free should he be found guilty of wrongdoing.
It’s worth noting that the announcement of the pledge was made to the public on the same day that Trump’s former attorney and “fixer” Michael Cohen testified before Congress, and hours after Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to congressional investigators in the course of the ongoing investigation. In his testimony, Cohen alleged that Trump had directed him to arrange illegal payments to two women in order to buy their silence during the 2016 election, a crime for which he could theoretically face serious legal ramifications.
DeSantis’ announcement, while supportive of Trump, appears to be more of a political maneuver than anything else, as neither DeSantis nor Haley have the constitutional power to actually grant a presidential pardon. However, the pair’s actions do demonstrate their support for Trump, and it could be seen as a gesture of loyalty to the former president, who in return has given both politicians his endorsement.
Ultimately, what happens with the investigations and any potential prosecution of Trump remains to be seen, but DeSantis and Haley’s pledge of support is a reminder of how some of Trump’s loyal allies are standing by him and sending a clear message that they would fight to keep him out of prison should the need arise.