A few hours after the janky roll out of his 2024 campaign, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis offered The Donald a compelling consolation prize if he were to beat the former president in the 2024 primaries.
During an interview with the hosts of the right-wing “Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show,” DeSantis indicated that he would consider pardoning some of the defendants convicted on charges related to their actions on Jan. 6, including the possibly soon-to-be-indicted Donald Trump. Mind you, this all comes the same day that Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes was sentenced to 18 years in prison for seditious conspiracy regarding his role in the insurrection.
“What I’m going to do is I’m going to do, on day one, I will have folks that will get together and look at all these cases who people are victims of weaponization or political targeting, and we will be aggressive at issuing pardons,” DeSantis told Sexton, before going on to elevate a rather tired right-wing talking point, conflating the actions of Jan. 6 insurrectionists with those of Black Lives Matter protesters in the summer of 2020.
“Now some of these cases, some people may have a technical violation of the law, but if there are three other people who did the same thing, but just in a context like BLM and they don’t get prosecuted at all, that is uneven application of justice,” he said. “We’re going to find examples where we have governments [that have] been weaponized against disfavored groups, and we will apply relief as appropriate.”
“And that could be from a grandma who got arrested and prosecuted too much all the way up to potentially Trump himself?” Sexton asked. DeSantis did not outright confirm that he would help shield Trump specifically from accountability, but he didn’t not confirm it either.
“I would say any example of disfavored treatment based on politics or weaponization would be included in that review, no matter how small or how big,” DeSantis said.
Trump has said as much himself in the past. When he kicked off his 2024 campaign with a rally — in Waco, Texas of all places — he began the evening playing footage that honored those who have been convicted or charged for actions related to the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6. A few months later at the campaign event that CNN just happened to host for him, Trump promised he would “most likely” pardon “a large portion of them,” referring to the 1,000-plus individuals charged for their actions on Jan. 6 — seemingly not including himself.
“I am inclined to pardon many of them. I can’t say for every single one, because a couple of them, probably they got out of control,” he said, “and it’ll be very early on.”
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