GOP presidential candidate: Trump’s ‘bad judgment’ on Jan. 6 ‘is not the same thing as a crime’

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Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy said Sunday that he believes Donald Trump showed poor judgment with regard to the U.S. Capitol attack but that the former president did not commit a crime.

The entrepreneur’s remarks come amid expected federal criminal charges against Mr. Trump related to his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, after special counsel Jack Smith sent the ex-president a letter stating he is the target of an investigation.

“I’ve been consistent all along that I would have made different judgments than Donald Trump made. That is why I am running in this race for the presidency, the same race that he’s in, because I would have made different — and I believe better — judgments for the country,” Mr. Ramaswamy said on “Fox News Sunday.” “But a bad judgment is not the same thing as a crime. And when we conflate the two, that sets a dangerous precedent for this country.”

Should he be elected, Mr. Ramaswamy has vowed to pardon Mr. Trump’s other criminal charges related to hush-money payments to women before the 2016 election to shield extramarital affairs and alleged mishandling of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate after leaving office.

“I don’t want to see us become some banana republic, where the party in power uses police force to arrest its political opponents,” Mr. Ramaswamy said.

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