Conroe, Texas — Former President Donald Trump is dangling the prospect of pardons for supporters who participated in the deadly January 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol if he returns to the White House.
“If I run and if I win, we will treat those people from January 6th fairly,” Trump said Saturday night during a rally in Conroe, Texas. Trump said Saturday night that he would pardon anyone who is being unfairly treated if they request it. “
The offer represents an attempt by Trump to further minimize the most significant attack on the seat of government since the War of 1812. The participants broke through windows and assaulted officers, sending lawmakers and staff running for their lives as they tried to stop the peaceful transition of power.
More than 700 people have been arrested and charged with federal crimes in connection with the riot, marking the largest investigation in the Justice Department’s history. The tally includes more than 150 people charged with assaulting police officers, more than 50 charged with conspiracy, and charges of seditious conspiracy against the founder and leader of the far-right Oath Keepers militia group, and 10 other members or associates.
More than 100 police officers were injured, some critically, after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, following a “Stop the Steal” rally by Trump near the White House in which he falsely claimed Mr. Biden had won election through massive voter fraud.
As president, Trump used his pardon power to pardon or commute the sentences of numerous political allies, friends and associates, including his former chief strategist, Steve Bannon; his former campaign chair, Paul Manafort; his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn; and a longtime friend and political ally, Roger Stone.
Trump has criticized the Democratic-led House for its ongoing investigation of the riot.
While his supporters overran the Capitol on January 6, Trump ignored desperate pleas from allies to forcefully disavow the attack and has repeatedly praised those who participated in the protest.
“It was a lot of love there,” he said recently of those who attended the rally in an interview on Fox News. Believe me. There was lots of love, a lot friendship, and many people who love this country. “
Trump, who was impeached by the House for his role in inciting the insurrection but acquitted by the Senate, has been teasing a third run for the White House in 2024.
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