Trump says he would consider pardons for Jan. 6 defendants if elected

CONROE, Texas— Donald J. Trump said on Saturday that if elected for a new presidential term, he would consider pardoning those prosecut...


CONROE, Texas— Donald J. Trump said on Saturday that if elected for a new presidential term, he would consider pardoning those prosecuted for attacking the United States Capitol on January 6 of last year.

He also called on his supporters to stage large protests in Atlanta and New York if prosecutors in those cities, who are investigating him and his businesses, take action against him.

The promise to consider pardons is the farthest Mr Trump has gone in expressing support for the Jan. 6 defendants.

“If I run and I win, we will treat these people fairly starting January 6,” he said, addressing a crowd at a fair in Conroe, Texas, outside of Houston, which seemed to number in the tens of thousands. “We will treat them fairly,” he repeated. “And if it requires pardons, we will grant them pardons, because they are treated so unfairly.”

At least 700 people have been arrested in connection with the January 6 uprising, including 11 charged with seditious conspiracy. Some have said they thought they were doing Mr. Trump’s bidding.

As president, Mr. Trump pardoned a number of his supporters and former aides, including Michael T. Flynn, his first national security adviser, who twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, and Stephen K. Bannon, his former campaign strategist and White House Counsel, who was accused of defrauding donors of a privately funded effort to build a wall along the Mexican border.

Members of both parties chastised the remarks on Sunday, including lawmakers who fled rioters as they entered the Capitol and the Senate Chamber. Max Rose, a Democrat seeking to reclaim his New York seat from Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, one of the Republicans who voted to overturn the election resultscalled on his opponent to condemn the remarks.

“If Congresswoman Malliotakis truly cares about America, she must not only speak out against Donald Trump’s promise to these insurgents, but make it clear that their beliefs are right,” Rose said in a statement.

Senator Susan Collins of Maine, one of seven Republicans who voted to convict Mr. Trump in his second impeachment trial for inciting insurrection, said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday that she did not believe that the former president should have made the comments, adding, “We should let the legal process continue.”

Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a Republican who became an ally again to the former president after condemning him in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 riot, called the remarks “inappropriate”.

“I don’t want to insist that sullying the Capitol is OK,” Graham said, speaking on CBS’ “Face the Nation” show.“I don’t want to do anything that would make that more likely in the future.”

In his Saturday speech, Mr. Trump also took aim at the New York State Attorney General and the Manhattan District Attorney, who have both been investigating his businesses for possible fraud, and the Fulton County District Attorney. , Georgia, which is appointing a special grand jury to investigate Mr. Trump’s efforts to nullify the results of the 2020 election in that state.

He urged his supporters to stage large protests in New York and Atlanta, as well as in Washington, if those investigations result in action against him.

“If these radical, vicious, racist prosecutors do anything wrong or corrupt, we’re going to have the biggest protests in this country we’ve ever had,” he said.

The event in Conroe drew Trump supporters from across Texas and as far away as New Jersey and Washington state, some of whom had camped at the fairgrounds for several days. For much of Saturday, a festive atmosphere reigned, with billowing flags and ubiquitous T-shirts declaring “Trump 2024”.

As his speech stretched into an hour, Mr. Trump’s rhetoric became sharper and his attacks on the media more labored. “The press is the enemy of the people,” he said, prompting angry boos, adding, “Corrupt media will destroy our country.”



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Newsrust - US Top News: Trump says he would consider pardons for Jan. 6 defendants if elected
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