Ron DeSantis Announces He’ll Pardon Trump If Any Convictions Happen

 December 31, 2023

In a significant political move, presidential candidate Ron DeSantis declared his intention to pardon former President Donald Trump should Trump face any convictions. This announcement came during DeSantis's campaign trail in Iowa.

This declaration clarifies DeSantis's previously ambiguous position on the potential legal future of Trump.

DeSantis, while speaking to NBC News, affirmed his commitment by stating he had made this promise long ago. This statement comes amidst Trump facing 91 criminal charges across various states and at the federal level.

The comparison to a historical precedent was evident in DeSantis’s speech. He likened his decision to that of Gerald Ford's pardon of Richard Nixon in 1974, a move Ford believed was necessary to heal a divided nation.

DeSantis emphasized the need for the country to move forward, suggesting that pardoning Trump would serve this purpose. "I think we got to move on as a country and, you know, like Ford did to Nixon, because the divisions are just not in the country’s interest," he said.

DeSantis's Pledge Echoes Ford's Historical Decision

DeSantis's rationale mirrors the sentiments expressed by Ford decades ago. Ford’s decision to pardon Nixon was aimed at unifying a country fractured by the Watergate scandal.

Nikki Haley, another presidential candidate, made a similar pledge. After an event in New Hampshire, Haley announced she would also pardon Trump if he were convicted.

Haley justified her stance by considering the best interests of the nation. She argued that it would be more beneficial for the country to move past Trump's legal troubles than to continue dwelling on them.

Speaking on the matter, Haley said:

I would pardon Trump if he is found guilty. A leader needs to think about what's in the best interests of the country. What’s in the best interests of the country is not to have an 80-year-old man sitting in jail who continues to divide our country. 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.

Haley Aligns with DeSantis on Trump Pardon Issue

Both DeSantis and Haley have drawn parallels between their proposed pardons and the historical precedent set by Ford. Their statements suggest a shared belief that pardoning Trump would aid in healing national divisions.

DeSantis’s pledge is part of a broader promise he made earlier this year. In May 2022, when he launched his presidential campaign, he vowed to pardon "victims of weaponization or political targeting."

DeSantis's spokesperson reiterated his long-standing position on the issue, simply stating, "Yeah, I said that months ago."

This development comes as the political landscape continues to grapple with Trump's extensive legal challenges. The former president's legal entanglements span several states and involve a wide array of charges.

A Divided Nation Faces a Historic Decision

The implications of DeSantis's and Haley's pledges are significant. They indicate a willingness to use presidential pardoning power in a highly contentious and politically charged context.

Both candidates' positions seem to be framed by a desire to move the nation forward. This mirrors Gerald Ford's rationale in pardoning Nixon, who, at his resignation, expressed regret for any wrong decisions made in what he believed was the nation's best interests.

It remains to be seen how these pledges will impact the political dynamics of the presidential race and the nation's response to Trump's legal situation.


  • Ron DeSantis announced his intention to pardon Donald Trump if convicted while campaigning in Iowa.
  • DeSantis compared his decision to Gerald Ford's pardon of Richard Nixon in 1974.
  • Nikki Haley also pledged to pardon Trump, citing it as being in the nation's best interest.
  • Both DeSantis and Haley's decisions are seen as efforts to unify a divided nation.
  • Trump faces 91 criminal charges in multiple states and federally.
  • The impact of these pledges on the political landscape remains uncertain.

About Victor Winston

Victor is a freelance writer and researcher who focuses on national politics, geopolitics, and economics.

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