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Get To Know The Aggressive Jan. 6 Protesters Donald Trump Refers To As ‘Hostages’

Aggressive Protesters (Credits: Vanity Fair)

Donald Trump has positioned the individuals who participated in the Capitol riot, propelled by his unfounded claims about the 2020 election, as “hostages” and “unbelievable patriots” suffering injustices at the hands of the legal system.

However, an NBC News examination into the legal proceedings of the Jan. 6 defendants reveals that only 15 individuals involved in the Capitol breach are currently detained pre-trial by federal judges’ orders.

This figure has decreased over time as defendants either accept plea agreements or are convicted or as federal judges show reluctance towards pre-trial detainment for arrests that occurred more than three years after the incident.

Aggressive Protesters (Credits: Global Times)

Despite Trump’s initial condemnation of the lawbreakers on Jan. 6, 2021, asserting they would “pay,” his 2024 presidential campaign focuses on defending those jailed in connection to the event.

Trump’s Labeling Of These Individuals As “Hostages” Faces Criticism

He has labeled the Jan. 6 detainees as “hostages” and has even featured a “J6 Prison Choir” recording at his rallies. Trump promises widespread pardons for the rioters if re-elected in 2024, even declaring their liberation as a priority upon returning to office.

Out of more than 1,350 charged for their roles in the Jan. 6 attack, over 950 have been convicted, with roughly 500 serving jail time. The vast majority were released pending trial, but 15 individuals, not yet convicted or having entered pleas, remain in custody.

Seven of these are among the 27 Jan. 6 detainees held by the D.C. Department of Corrections. The designation of these individuals as “hostages” by Trump has been met with criticism, especially from those who have experienced actual hostage situations, highlighting the misuse and insensitivity of the term.

Protesters Presumed as Hostages by Trump (Credits: Truthout)

Among the reasons for the pre-trial detainment of these individuals are accusations of violent acts against law enforcement, attempts to evade capture, and pending mental health evaluations. All arraigned defendants have entered not-guilty pleas, with four still awaiting their court proceedings.

This narrative around the Jan. 6 defendants underscores a contentious element of Trump’s campaign rhetoric and the ongoing debate over the legal treatment of those involved in the Capitol riot, juxtaposing their situation with genuine hostage experiences and eliciting strong reactions from various quarters.

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