Penalties for Capitol attackers: Trump considers re-election pardon

Status: 02/01/2022 03:21 a.m

Former US President Trump has said he will “treat fairly” the Jan. 6 attackers on the US Capitol should he be president again. Some Republicans disagree.

By Claudia Sarre, ARD Studio Washington

The US public has already become accustomed to the fact that former US President Donald Trump spreads hatred and hatred at his rallies. But now he is striking a new note, questioning court decisions and thus democracy.

Claudia Sarre
ARD-Studio Washington

At a rally in Texas, Trump promised his supporters that he would work for a waiver for Capitol attackers – if he were to become US President again. “If I run and win, we will treat the January 6 people fairly,” Trump said. “And if that requires pardons, we will pardon them. Because they were treated so unfairly.”

About 760 demonstrators were arrested and charged after the US Capitol was stormed. Some people have already been sentenced to several years in prison.

“Everyone must be held accountable”

While the grassroots remains united behind Trump, his remark — a license to use violence against the state — hasn’t gone down well with some Republicans.

“For heaven’s sake, the assailants who stormed the State House on Jan. 6 should never be pardoned,” Republican New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu told CNN. “The people involved in the attack on the Capitol must be held accountable,” Sununu said. That is the law. “It doesn’t matter whether you were an Antifa member and burned cities in 2020 or stormed the Capitol in 2021: everyone must be held accountable.”

“We should let the courts do the talking”

Maine Senator Susan Collins was one of seven Republicans who voted to impeach Trump in the second impeachment trial. She explained on ABC television that Trump should not have made this assurance. “We should let the courts do the talking,” Collins said diplomatically.

Even Republican veteran Lindsay Graham called Trump’s statement on CBS “inappropriate.” The South Carolina senator initially condemned the storming of Congress, but is now considered a Trump supporter again. “I don’t want to affirm that the Capitol fall was okay. I don’t want to do anything to make that more likely in the future,” Graham said.

Trump as ruler of the Republicans

The criticism of some of his party members should leave the former president cold. Trump is still considered the sole ruler of the party. Most Republicans need his support for the midterm elections.

The 75-year-old has not yet officially announced whether he will run again in 2024. He’s hinted at it many times, though.

Pardon if re-elected? Not all agree

Claudia Sarre, ARD Washington, January 31, 2022 11:45 p.m

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