OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former President Donald Trump is giving voters an idea of some of the things he will do if he wins the presidency again in 2024, and one of those things has Democrats furious.
At his “Save America” rally on Saturday, the 45th President of the United States said he could pardon some of the people involved in the riot at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
“If I run, and if I win, we will treat those people from January 6 fairly. We will treat them fairly,” he said as the crowd cheered.
“If that requires pardons, we will give them pardons, because they are being treated so unfairly,” the former president pledged.
“This hasn’t happened to all of the other atrocities that took place recently, what that un-select committee is doing and what the people are doing who are running those prisons — it’s a disgrace,” he argued.
“We will treat them fairly and we will take care of the people of this country,” he said.
BREAKING: President Trump promises to PARDON Jan. 6 prisoners if he runs and wins in 2024 pic.twitter.com/teYbYNBcuB
— RSBN 🇺🇸 (@RSBNetwork) January 30, 2022
The issue of treating the January 6 defendants fairly and giving them better conditions in prison has been a subject talked about by other Republicans.
“Americans need to wake up and understand that people are being tortured. Tortured!” Joseph McBride, an attorney for some January 6 detainees, said, One American News Network reported. “Are you okay with people being tortured five miles from the White House right now?”
The Department of Justice is advancing the prosecutions of January 6 protesters despite mounting legal challenges and evidence of foul play. In a statement Wednesday, Attorney General Merrick Garland vowed to punish hundreds of protesters regardless of whether they played an active role in the demonstration or even if they were not on Capitol Hill that day.
Garland appeared to suggest the supporters of President Donald Trump are solely responsible for clashes at the U.S. Capitol, echoing the rhetoric of Democrat-controlled January 6 Committee. However, the Justice Department has yet to clarify the reports of federal agents and far-left operatives who Republican lawmakers say incited violence at the protest.
While the debate continues of what actually happened on January 6, around 1,400 protesters have been detained in connection with the protest, according to a Daily Caller estimate. Federal investigators have tried to accuse some of the defendants of “domestic terrorism” despite admitting hardly any of their actions meet the legal definition of terrorism.
Republican lawmakers, who have looked into the matter, are sounding the alarm.
“Here’s the thing, what’s going on is we have inhumane treatment of people who have not been convicted of a crime,” Republican Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs said. “These folks are being held in pre-trial detention.”
On December 7, Reps. Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene and other Republicans had a rally for the prisoners.
“We know that approximately 90% and more of Antifa BLM rioters have been released from jail. Their charges have been dropped. We know that in cities across America, there have been over two billion and damage, but here at the Capitol on January 6th, it’s approximately 1.5 million dollars. There’s a clear difference. But yet, we have a January 6th committee that Nancy Pelosi is leading, that is nothing but a political witch hunt on Republicans and Trump supporters all across America and anyone that was at the Capitol on January 6th, Rep. Taylor Greene said.
“What’s happening to these people being held in custody is wrong, it’s unconstitutional, it’s a violation of their rights, and it is an abuse that I call on every single member of Congress to start paying attention to. We need investigations. It’s outrageous. The American people are purely upset, disgusted, and cannot believe this is happening in our country. And I think all of us should be appalled. You see this jail in Washington, DC has been known. It’s had many reports of being a despicable place. As early as 1976, US District Court Judge William Bryant ruled the conditions inside the jail violated the eighth amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment,” she said.
But Rep. Gaetz warned that it is not only are the January 6 detainees in danger, but every American could be.
“It’s the January 6th detainees who are denied basic access to medical care and constitutional rights today. But tomorrow it could be the school board parents. The day after that, the rest of us, all of you. It has been 174 days since my colleagues and I sent a letter to FBI Director Wray, asking basic questions about the FBI’s involvement in January 6th. Americans should not be languishing in hideous, unconstitutional conditions, waiting for basic answers like this, waiting for basic answers regarding evidence, waiting for access to counsel,” he said.