Trump Already Doling Out Imaginary Future Pardons To Capitol Rioters
Every ex-President has hobbies. Jimmy Carter did Habitat for Humanity and various other humanitarian charities. George W. Bush paints. And Donald Trump is still holding rallies, Norma Desmond-ing around, telling people he's gonna be president again, talking about what he'll do, promising rewards to those who love him and vengeance upon those who have defied him.
At a rally this weekend in Conroe, Texas, Trump claimed that those who have been arrested for their part in the January 6 riots have been treated unfairly and promised that if he is re-elected, he will treat them fairly and even pardon them. Apparently this is something we are supposed to be surprised by in some capacity.
Trump says if he\u2019s re-elected, he may pardon people prosecuted for their actions on January 6thpic.twitter.com/VLlkGyUr32— Acyn (@Acyn) 1643511283
Via New York Times:
The promise to consider pardons is the furthest Mr. Trump has gone in expressing support for the Jan. 6 defendants.
“If I run and I win, we will treat those people from Jan. 6 fairly,” he said, addressing a crowd at a fairground in Conroe, Texas, outside Houston, that appeared to number in the tens of thousands. “We will treat them fairly,” he repeated. “And if it requires pardons, we will give them pardons, because they are being treated so unfairly.”
One might assume, given the fact that Trump is currently being investigated for his own part in those riots, that he might want to distance himself from the January 6 defendants — several of whom tried or are trying to get off by claiming that they were brainwashed by Trump or that they were just following his orders. But he has absolutely no history of doing that in any other situation, so why start now. Going the route of pretending they did nothing wrong is going to go over much better with his base than trying to distance himself from them. He just pretends whatever he wants to believe is true and people go along with him.
Trump also claimed that those investigating him for fraud or trying to overturn Georgia's election results were "racist" (against the orange?) and encouraged his supporters to hold massive protests across the country should any of these investigations not turn out in his favor.
In his Saturday speech, Mr. Trump took aim at the New York State attorney general and the Manhattan district attorney, both of whom have been investigating his businesses for possible fraud, and at the district attorney in Fulton County, Ga., who is empaneling a special grand jury to investigate Mr. Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in that state.
He urged his supporters to organize large protests in New York and Atlanta, as well as in Washington, if those investigations lead to action against him.
“If these radical, vicious, racist prosecutors do anything wrong or corrupt, we are going to have in this country the biggest protests we have ever had,” he said.
That should be pleasant. And unfortunately it's quite possible.
According to a poll released last week, only 17 percent of Republicans would vote for a candidate who believed Biden legitimately won the 2020 election — and one of the largest "concerns" for Republican voters overall was "stopping Democrats from rigging and stealing elections."
The survey of 1,568 U.S. adults, which was conducted from Jan. 20 to 24, found that when asked which issue they want future candidates to focus on the most, the share of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who say “stopping Democrats from rigging and stealing elections” (17 percent) — something that Democrats are not doing — is statistically equivalent to the share who say “bringing down inflation” (19 percent).
Other core conservative policies don’t even come close: “ending COVID restrictions” (10 percent), “fighting crime” (8 percent), “outlawing abortion” (5 percent), “cutting taxes” (5 percent), “appointing Supreme Court justices” (2 percent) and “giving parents more controls over schools” (2 percent). Only “securing the border” (23 percent) ranks higher.
Likewise, if the GOP wins control of Congress in November, 56 percent of Republicans say they want the party to launch yet another investigation of the 2020 presidential election — twice the number (28 percent) who say the opposite.
This is not good. Especially considering that there are more of them right now than there are of us. And if they think they can do whatever they want because Trump will become president again and pardon them for it, it's not going to be very pretty.
That's it for now — come hang out with Stephen and I for our weekend live chat, around 3pm Eastern/12pm Pacific.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse