Gov. Burgum refuses to answer whether or not he'll pardon Trump if elected

 August 21, 2023

One of the popular questions posed to 2024 GOP Republican presidential candidates is how they would proceed with a pardon for former President Donald Trump if elected to the White House and provided the power to do so.

Across the board, some have agreed to pardon Trump without hesitation. Others dance around the subject and are clearly not ready to answer that question.

But according to the Washington Examiner, Gov. Doug Burgum (R-ND), a 2024 hopeful, said he'll need more context and see how the cases against Trump play out before deciding whether or not he would issue a pardon, should the opportunity eventually present itself.

Burgum, a longshot for the 2024 nomination, to be kind, leaned on the core tenets of the U.S. justice system, saying it doesn't matter who the person is, but rather how the justice system determines their guilt or innocence.

"Whether it’s for Hunter Biden, Joe Biden, or Donald Trump, everybody is innocent until proven guilty in this country," Burgum said during an interview on Meet the Press Sunday.

He added, "But if somebody came up and said this person’s been accused, there hasn’t evidence — there hasn't been one day of a trial in 2025, would you pardon them? Those are hypothetical questions, and any governor that understands his role would never speculate on that because it hasn’t played out."

"It’s like trying to jump ahead of the entire court system, and I respect the judicial branches have got their job," Burgum continued.

The North Dakota governor was asked several additional hot-topic questions, including his thoughts on whether he believes Trump tried to overturn the 2020 election. Burgum declined to provide his thoughts on that and many other questions.

Instead of generating headlines to grab some sorely needed name recognition with a few buzzworthy, if not controversial, clips of answering such questions, he seemingly squandered the opportunity.

He instead turned to typical, uninspiring and dull campaign speak.

"One thing I know about the executive Branch, we work for everyone. When you’re plowing the roads, we’re plowing them for Republicans, Democrats, independents, for everybody, and that’s the job of the executive branch; that's the job I’m running for," Burgum said.

He added, "That’s why we’re running, and absolutely, when I’m president, we will lead with respecting everybody. We work for everybody."

Only time will tell if Burgum can make up ground in the first GOP primary debate, for which he struggled to qualify in the first place.