Political violence as the norm: Trump signals plans to pardon January 6 insurrectionists if re-elected in 2024
Ex-President Donald Trump said on September 1 that if reelected in 2024, he would “look very, very favorably” at full pardons for the insurrectionists who attacked the U.S. Capitol last year.
In an interview with right-wing radio host Wendy Bell, Trump claimed he is “financially supporting” some of the people who took part in the Capitol attack, adding that “they were in my office actually two days ago, so they’re very much in my mind.”
“You get some of these judges who are so nasty and so angry and so mean,” the former president said. “I will tell you: I will look very, very favorably about full pardons if I decide to run and I win. I will be looking very, very strongly about full pardons.”
Trump’s remarks came on the same day that President Joe Biden delivered a primetime address warning that “Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.”
“There is no question that the Republican Party today is dominated, driven, and intimidated by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans, and that is a threat to this country,” the president said.
Nearly 900 people have been charged with crimes in connection to the January 6 attack that Trump provoked with his incessant lies about the 2020 presidential election. More than 300 people have pleaded guilty to crimes stemming from the Capitol assault.
“Donald Trump wants political violence to be the norm in America, and the GOP is right there with him,” U.S. Representative Gerry Connolly (D-VA) tweeted in response to Trump’s comments. “They will bring this country to the brink to soothe the fragile ego of a madman.”
Christina Harvey, executive director of Stand Up America, said in a statement on September 1 that “it’s not too late to stop these criminals, conspiracy theorists, and cowards.”
“This November, we can build a firewall for our democracy by standing up to candidates who pay lip service to patriotism while flouting the Constitution and the very foundations of our democracy,” said Harvey. “We can elect candidates who will protect our freedoms and our elections. What we cannot do is sit on the sidelines and wait for 2024. There’s too much at stake.”
Following the former president’s comments, a retired New York police officer was sentenced on September 1 to 10 years in prison for his involvement in the Capitol attack—the longest punishment meted out thus far for a January 6 insurrectionist.
Thomas Webster was “convicted of several felonies for attacking a Washington police officer with a flagpole on January 6, tackling the officer to the ground and trying to rip off his gas mask,” NBC News reported.
“Jurors convicted Webster, 56, in May after they determined he was lying on the stand when he tried to convince them he was trying to help the officer he assaulted to ‘see my hands’ when he grabbed the officer’s gas mask after he tackled him to the ground,” the outlet noted.