Ex-president halts bid for Jan. 6 defendants
CONROE, Texas— Former President Donald Trump holds out the prospect of pardons for the supporters who took part in the deadly storming of the United States Capitol on January 6 if he returns to the White House.
“If I run and if I win, we will treat these people fairly from January 6,” Trump said Saturday night at a rally in Conroe, Texas. “And if it requires pardons, we will grant them pardons because they are being treated so unfairly.”
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The offer represents an attempt by Trump to further downplay the largest attack on the seat of government since the War of 1812. Participants smashed windows, assaulted police officers and sent lawmakers and congressmen fleeing to save their lives while trying to stop the peaceful transition. of power and the certification of the victory of his rival Joe Biden.
More than 700 people were arrested and charged with federal crimes in connection with the riot, marking the largest investigation in Justice Department history. The tally includes more than 150 people charged with assaulting police officers, more than 50 charged with conspiracy and seditious conspiracy charges against the founder and leader of the far-right Oath Keepers militiaand 10 other members or associates.
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More than 100 police officers were injured, some seriously, after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, following a Trump “Stop the Steal” rally near the White House during which he falsely claimed that Biden had won the election thanks to a massive voter. fraud.
While President Trump has used his power of pardon to pardon or commute the sentences of numerous political allies, friends and associates, including his former chief strategist, Steve Bannon; his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort; his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn; and a longtime friend and political ally, Roger Stone.
Trump criticized the Democratic-led House for its ongoing investigation into the riot.
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As his supporters swarmed the Capitol on Jan. 6, Trump ignored desperate pleas from his allies to forcefully disavow the attack and repeatedly praised those who participated in the protest.
“It was a lot of love there,” he recently said of those who attended the rally in an interview on Fox News. “Believe me, there was a lot of love and a lot of friendship and people who love our country.”
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Trump, who was impeached by the House for his role in inciting the insurgency but acquitted by the Senate, teased a third run for the White House in 2024.