In a highly unexpected move, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley have both pledged to pardon former President Donald Trump should he be convicted after his upcoming senate impeachment trial. This bold move is not popular among many Democrats and progressive commentators who believe that Trump should be tried for his role in the storming of the US Capitol. However, DeSantis and Haley have stated that they hope that Trump’s innocence will be proven in the trial, and that a pardon would be “unnecessary.”
The pledge came after Trump’s second impeachment trial almost certainly seemed inevitable, with little or no hesitation from the US Senate. In announcing their loyalty to Trump, DeSantis and Haley cited their belief that Trump is innocent of any crimes and that the investigations have been a witch hunt.
It is unclear if the pardon itself would have any effect, should Trump be convicted, as a conviction would still stand. The pardon would only prevent Trump from being subject to federal or state prosecution in the future.
It is evident that DeSantis and Haley’s support for Trump is rock solid, although many believe that their proactivity in pre-empting a possible conviction speaks to their larger leanings. Nonetheless, it is expected that Trump’s upcoming trial in the Senate to be one of the most divisive and contested affairs in US history. It remains to be seen whether or not DeSantis and Haley’s offer will have any effect on the pending proceedings.