Report: Trump Seriously Weighed Pardons For Capitol Insurrectionists Before Leaving Office

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: President Donald Trump speaks at the "Stop The Steal" Rally on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of P... WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: President Donald Trump speaks at the "Stop The Steal" Rally on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images) MORE LESS

Trump’s enthusiasm for pardoning the Jan. 6 insurrectionists isn’t new, according to a Politico report.

President Trump seriously considered a blanket pardon for Jan. 6 rioters shortly after the insurrection, in the final days of his presidency, the outlet reported Wednesday.

Between the day of the deadly Capitol insurrection and President Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20, 2021, Trump reportedly made three calls to one unnamed adviser to float the idea of a blanket pardon for his supporters who stormed the Capitol.

Another adviser to Trump reportedly told Politico that the former president questioned how insurrectionists might be charged criminally, and how a blanket pardon could grant them protection going forward.

“Is it everybody that had a Trump sign or everybody who walked into the Capitol” who could be pardoned? an adviser reportedly recalled Trump asking. “He said, ‘Some people think I should pardon them.’ He thought if he could do it, these people would never have to testify or be deposed,” the adviser said, according to Politico.

Trump’s enthusiasm for pardoning the insurrectionists resurfaced publicly in recent days. During a rally in Conroe, Texas last weekend, Trump bragged to his supporters that if he ran for re-election and won, he would treat insurrectionists “fairly” by pardoning them.

“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 at the rally. “And if it requires pardons, we will give them pardons. Because they are being treated so unfairly.”

The former president has since leaned into his remarks, telling Newsmax on Tuesday that he would “absolutely” pardon the insurrectionists “if things don’t work out fairly.”

Trump’s dangling of pardons for insurrectionists has prompted fresh denunciations from Democrats, but only scattered condemnation from Republicans.

Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA), who sits on the Jan. 6 Committee, on Wednesday accused the former president of “absolutely” tampering with witnesses in the panel’s investigation.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest News
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriter:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: