Trump Says He Will Pardon US Capitol Rioters if Reelected

Credits: The New Republic

Former US President Donald Trump has pledged to free people jailed for their involvement in the 2021 attack on the US Capitol as one of his first actions if reelected, referring to them as “hostages.”

The attack, which occurred on January 6, 2021, saw rioters, fueled by Trump’s false claims of voter fraud, storming the Capitol in an attempt to halt the transfer of power to Joe Biden.

Since then, approximately 1,358 defendants have been charged, with around 500 sentenced to prison terms, according to the latest figures from the Justice Department.

Donald Trump (Credits: CNBC)

Trump made these comments on his Truth Social website, also promising to shut down the border with Mexico as part of his first acts if reelected, although he did not provide specifics.

This is not the first time Trump has referred to his imprisoned supporters as “hostages” or suggested they should be released. In January, he urged President Biden to “release the J6 hostages, Joe” during a campaign rally in Iowa.

Donald Trump (Credits: CNN)

Trump, who faces four criminal indictments, including two federal charges and one in Georgia related to his attempts to overturn the election results, is virtually assured of being the Republican presidential nominee after his last remaining rival, Nikki Haley, dropped out of the race following his overwhelming wins in the primaries.

Despite his legal troubles, Trump insists that his support among his Republican base has been strengthened, not weakened. His pledge to free those involved in the Capitol attack is likely to further polarize opinion and raise concerns about the rule of law and accountability for the events of January 6.

I'm Richard Rosales, I cover political news and ongoing US elections.