Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA), who sits on the House Jan. 6 Select Committee, on Wednesday morning accused former President Donald Trump of tampering with witnesses in the panel’s investigation by promising potential pardons for the Capitol insurrectionists.
Pointing out that a lawyer for several Jan. 6 defendants had said the day before that his clients “welcome” Trump’s pledge, CNN host Brianna Keilar asked Aguilar if the ex-president was witness tampering.
“Absolutely,” the Democratic lawmaker responded.
He called on his Republican colleagues to condemn Trump’s comment, asking “When is enough enough?”
“When a mob is chanting ‘Hang Mike Pence,’ it wasn’t enough,” Aguilar said, referring to the insurrectionists’ battle cry as they were storming the Capitol. “When the former president asked [Georgia Secretary of State] Brad Raffensperger (R) to find him 11,000 votes, it wasn’t enough.”
“Now he’s dangling pardons if he gets back in office for individuals,” the Democrat continued. “Will that be enough, or will there be more collective amnesia? I just don’t know where the floor is these days on that side of the aisle.”
Trump has teased the potential pardons multiple times over the past several days.
The first time was on Saturday during the former president’s rally in Conroe, Texas — the reference to pardons came as he was listing his priorities were he to win back the presidency. (Trump has not officially announced plans to run again but has hinted heavily at doing so.)
“Another thing we’ll do — and so many people have been asking me about it — if I run and if I win, we will treat those people from Jan. 6 fairly. We will treat them fairly,” Trump told his supporters. “And if it requires pardons, we will give them pardons. Because they are being treated so unfairly.”
The ex-president doubled down during a Newsmax interview on Tuesday night, saying he would “absolutely” pardon the insurrectionists “if things don’t work out fairly.”
Few Republican lawmakers have pushed back against their party leader’s idea, though Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said on Tuesday that he opposed it.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), generally one of Trump’s top loyalists in Congress, gently criticized the pardons as “inappropriate” on Sunday, which earned the senator a lash from Trump in the Newsmax interview.
Calling Graham a “RINO” (Republican In Name Only), Trump ranted that the South Carolina Republican “doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about.”
Watch Aguilar below: