Former President Donald Trump announced that if he were to run for a second presidential term and win, he would look “very seriously” into full pardons for those charged with crimes connected to the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021.
Trump said in an interview with radio personality Wendy Bell that he would consider this “very strongly and very favorably.”
He then went on to say that he is currently “financially supporting” some of the defendants who were accused of crimes committed when they stormed the Capitol building in a riot that left seven people dead and resulted in $1.5 million in damage to the building.
— The Hill (@thehill) September 1, 2022
Trump said of these accused criminals, “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. It’s a disgrace what they’ve done to them. What they’ve done to these people is disgraceful.”
The Hill reached out to Trump spokespersons who declined to respond to questions about how exactly Trump is financially supporting the January 6th rioters he mentioned.
Bell asked trump flat out if he intended to run again in 2024. Trump evaded the question by stating:
“Well the time is coming closer and I think you’re gonna be really happy. You have campaign finance laws that [don’t] allow you to … it’s crazy. It’s not smart. If you say it, everything changes and you have reporting and you have all things. But I will be doing something and I think you’re going to be happy.”
The former president also echoed comments he made recently in Nashville, TN at the the Faith and Freedom event last month. There he claimed that defendants charged for crimes committed at the Capitol riot had their “lives destroyed,” and that most of them had been “charged with parading through the Capitol.”
Trump received criticism over his comments about pardoning rioters, even from his supporters. Republican Senator from South Carolina, Lindsey Graham said that offering pardons to Capitol riot defendants was “inappropriate.” Trump responded by calling the Senator a “RINO” – Republican In Name Only.
Currently, over 860 people have been arrested for crimes committed at the Capitol on January 6th from all 50 states. Over 350 of them plead guilty and over 115 have been sentenced and incarcerated.