Shortly after The New York Times reported that Vice President Mike Pence had hired a criminal defense lawyer in June 2017, social media users posted a quote in which Pence purportedly said that only a guilty person would do such a thing:
“Only guilty people need to hire a criminal defense attorney” – Mike Pence
Today Mike Pence hired a criminal defense attorney
— Jonathan Jewel (@jonathanjewel) June 15, 2017
Although this quote was posted by several individuals on social media, we found no mention online of when or where Pence allegedly uttered this phrase, or what he was referring to when he supposedly said it.
The earliest post of this quote we found was shared by Jonathan Jewel on Twitter shortly after the New York Times article was published on 15 June. Jewel, who identifies as a “Liberal fighting Trump tyranny” in his Twitter bio, frequently posts political jokes on his account. It’s possible that this quote originated as a joke in an attempt to imply that Pence was guilty of some wrongdoing.