Former President Donald Trump said Thursday he would grant full pardons and an apology from the government to rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, to stop the congressional certification of the presidential election.
Mr. Trump said during an interview with Wendy Bell, a conservative talk radio show host, “I mean full pardons with an apology to many.” This would require Mr. Trump to run and win the 2024 presidential election.
Mr. Trump said on Thursday that he had met with Jan. 6 riot defendants recently on trial for the events that went down that day and that he is financially supporting some of them. He noted that he hosted some defendants in his office two days ago.
“It’s a disgrace what they’ve done to them,” Mr. Trump said, referencing the Justice Department and FBI’s prosecutions and pretrial jailing of many defendants.
“They’re firemen, they’re policemen, they’re people in the military,” Mr. Trump noted and that his legal team has been “working on it very hard.”
Mr. Trump‘s remarks came at a time when Thomas Webster, a retired New York Police Department officer, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, the longest sentence issued so far for any defendant involved in the riot, according to The Associated Press. The previous longest was shared by two other rioters, who were sentenced separately to seven years and three months in prison.
A Washington jury found Webster guilty after claiming he acted in self-defense when he assaulted a Metropolitan Police Department officer when he pulled his gas mask off.
“Some of the legal people on the other side, they’re the most cold-hearted people. They don’t care about families. They don’t care about anything,” Mr. Trump said Thursday.
U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta sentenced Webster.
“Mr. Webster, I don’t think you’re a bad person,” the judge said. “I think you were caught up in a moment. But as you know, even getting caught up in a moment has consequences.”
“The other victim was democracy, and that is not something that can be taken lightly,” Judge Mehta said.