Thursday, September 01, 2022


This is being treated as news:
Former president Donald Trump said he would issue full pardons and a government apology to rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and violently attacked law enforcement to stop the democratic transfer of power.

“I mean full pardons with an apology to many,” he told conservative radio host Wendy Bell on Thursday morning. Such a move would be contingent on Trump running and winning the 2024 presidential election.
It's not news. Here's a Reuters story from late January:
U.S. former President Donald Trump said on Saturday if he were to run for president and win in 2024, he would pardon people charged with criminal offenses in connection with the deadly Jan. 6 assault by his supporters on the U.S. Capitol....

"Another thing we'll do, and so many people have been asking me about it, if I run and if I win, we will treat those people from Jan. 6 fairly," Trump said to applause. "We will treat them fairly. And if it requires pardons we will give them pardons. Because they are being treated so unfairly."
And here's a June story from in The Hill:
Former President Trump said on Friday that he would look “very, very seriously” at pardoning those charged in connection with storming the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, if he ran for and became president again.

Speaking during a Faith and Freedom event in Nashville, Tenn., Trump said the defendants charged in the Capitol riot were “having their lives totally destroyed and being treated worse than terrorists and murderers,” claiming that most had been “charged with parading through the Capitol.”

“And if I become president, someday if I decide to do it, I will be looking at them very, very seriously for pardons. Very, very seriously,” he added.
He may have been less ambiguous this morning than he was in those earlier statements, but this is obviously a promise he intends to carry into the campaign, and nobody should be surprised.

And if Trump is indicted and doesn't run for president, it's quite likely that one or more members of the 2024 GOP field will say they'll pardon the rioters -- and Trump as well. Maybe the first candidate to make the promise will be Donald Trump Jr., who in a recent McLaughlin & Associates poll trailed Ron DeSantis by only 8 in a 2024 field excluding his father. If not, I'm sure Tom Cotton or Ted Cruz will make the vow. Under the circumstances, could Ron DeSantis get away with not promising pardons?

The only really news today is this:
Trump, during his conversation with Bell on Thursday morning, also said he met with some Jan. 6 defendants in his office this week and that he is helping some financially.

“I am financially supporting people that are incredible and they were in my office actually two days ago, so they’re very much in my mind,” Trump said. “It’s a disgrace what they’ve done to them. What they’ve done to these people is disgraceful.”

A spokesman for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment about how the former president is financially supporting the rioters.
Is Trump really offering financial support to any of the rioters or their families? I doubt it -- although this won't prevent him from announcing the existence of a January 6 financial support fund, which will be flooded with donations, all or most of which will go straight into his pocket. Also, he might never get around to those pardons if he runs and wins, because what does he personally get out of fulfilling the promise? But making the promise is very good for his campaign.

The right says that convicted January 6 insurrectionists are political prisoners in an "American Gulag." This is a mainstream GOP belief. So of course pardons will be promised.

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