DeSantis claims Trump could have pardoned some Jan. 6 protesters

 December 19, 2023

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis hinted at the possibility of pardoning former President Donald Trump if elected to the White House during an interview on "The Megyn Kelly Show."

When asked about committing to pardoning Trump on federal charges, DeSantis emphasized doing what is right for the country and expressed reservations about sending an almost 80-year-old former president to prison.

The background

Drawing a parallel with President Gerald Ford's pardon of Richard Nixon, DeSantis questioned whether the nation should move forward or remain entangled in past controversies.

In May, upon entering the presidential race, DeSantis had stated he would consider pardoning individuals involved in the January 6 insurrection, including Trump.

Several GOP contenders vying for the presidential nomination, such as Perry Johnson, Vivek Ramaswamy, Nikki Haley and Larry Elder, have expressed intentions to pardon Trump if elected, while Chris Christie and Will Hurd have indicated they would not or are leaning against it.

Last week, DeSantis downplayed the severity of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, stating in an interview with comedian Russell Brand that it was not an insurrection but a riot that devolved from a protest.

Criticizing the media

DeSantis criticized the media for sensationalizing the event for partisan and political purposes. Trump recently faced new charges related to handling classified documents, accusing him of being part of a scheme to delete security video.

A grand jury investigating the January 6 attack and election overturn efforts is expected to decide on potential charges against Trump in that case.

Trump was indicted earlier this year in New York in a document fraud case linked to hush money payments for covering up affairs.

Appealing to conservatives

DeSantis' remarks underscore the ongoing debate within the GOP regarding the potential legal challenges faced by Trump and the stance his fellow contenders would take if elected to the presidency.

The issue of pardoning Trump is not only a legal consideration but also a politically sensitive matter that touches on the broader dynamics of the party and its stance on the events of January 6 and Trump's post-presidential legal challenges.

The comments made by DeSantis and other GOP contenders reflect the complex intersection of legal proceedings, political strategy and the ongoing influence of Trump within the Republican Party.

The legal developments surrounding Trump's various indictments add layers of complexity to the political landscape as the 2024 presidential election nears.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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