Former President Donald Trump suggested on Jan. 29 that he might pardon defendants charged with the Jan. 6 Capitol riot if he were to win a second term as president.
“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 January 6 fairly,” Trump said at a “Save America” rally in Conroe, Texas.
“And if it requires pardons, we will give them pardons because they are being treated so unfairly,” Trump added.
Some Republicans rejected Trump’s suggestion.
“I do not think… President Trump should have made that pledge to do pardons. We should let the judicial process proceed,” Maine Senator Susan Collins told ABC’s “This Week” on Jan. 31.
“January 6th was a dark day in our history,” Collins added.
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham described Trump’s suggestion as “inappropriate.”
“I want to deter people who did what on January the 6th. And those who did it, I hope they go to jail and get the book thrown at them because they deserve it,” Graham told CBS’ “Face the Nation.“
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu also said that he does not think the Jan. 6 defendants should be pardoned.
“Folks that were part of the riots and, frankly, the assault on the U.S. Capitol have to be held accountable. There’s a rule of law,” Sununu told CNN.
Over 700 people have been charged with federal crimes for their alleged roles in the Capitol riot.
Hundreds of the defendants are facing charges of conspiracy, obstruction, and assault that could land them years-long prison sentences.
As of late December 2021, at least 165 defendants pleaded guilty.
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