Trump receives some support from allies for pledge to pardon some Jan. 6 defendants

By 
 June 25, 2024

Former President Donald Trump has sparked controversy among the liberal media by suggesting that, if re-elected, he would consider granting pardons to some or all of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot defendants who've been severely prosecuted by President Joe Biden's administration.

Trump has now received support for the idea of pardoning Jan. 6 defendants from a staunch ally and possible vice presidential contender, Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, the U.K.'s The Guardian reported.

She suggested that extending clemency toward convicted Capitol rioters, a majority of whom were not violent or destructive, would help ensure that a similar incident wouldn't happen again in the future.

Gov. Noem would support pardons for Jan. 6 defendants

During an appearance Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," the topic of former President Trump's talk about pardoning Jan. 6 defendants came up in the discussion with Gov. Noem, who has long been rumored to be a possible contender to be Trump's running mate in November's election.

"Each of those situations needs to be looked at separately," Noem said of the defendants. "What I have been very clear about is that we don’t want to see another January 6 again. Nobody in this country wants to see another day like that again."

She said the possible pardons by Trump, if re-elected, would be "based on his prerogative and his decision when he looks at those cases," and observed, "Each of those individuals needs to be looked at separately, as far as what their role was and what was happening in that situation."

Trump said he would consider pardoning Jan. 6 defendants, but likely not the "evil and bad" ones

Gov. Noem was, of course, criticized by the left for her supposedly "incoherent" support of former President Trump's suggestion that he would pardon some or all of the Jan. 6 defendants.

In fact, her response tracked with what Trump himself said, even though the media has only shared part of what the former president has said about the Capitol rioters and has conveniently left out the pertinent context and follow-on comments he made to clarify his position.

In a Time magazine interview in April, Trump was asked about his referring to Jan. 6 defendants as "hostages" and "political prisoners" and his suggestion that they should be pardoned, and when asked if he would consider pardoning "every one of them," Trump initially replied, "Yes, absolutely."

However, what most of the media have left out of their reports on that statement is what Trump said immediately afterward, when he clarified, "If somebody was evil and bad, I would look at that differently. But many of those people went in, many of those people were ushered in. You see it on tape, the police are ushering them in. They’re walking with the police."

Media wants Trump to "name names" on who would receive pardons

A mid-June report from The Washington Post took note of former President Trump's pledge to pardon Jan. 6 defendants and, to its credit, did observe that he has said he would make such clemency decisions on a "case-by-case" basis, yet still called him out -- as the publication so often does -- for failing to provide any specific factors or criteria for those decisions.

Indeed, the outlet has tried to get Trump to "name names" on who he would pardon and has used certain examples of Jan. 6 defendants who were charged and convicted of serious crimes in an effort to create a wedge issue and further controversy.

Unsurprisingly, the outlet also included criticisms of the idea and intimated that the pardons would somehow signal that what occurred "was okay," and that there was no need for any accountability for the criminal acts that occurred.

Yet, as Trump himself clarified, and as some of his allies and spokespeople have reiterated, he would likely not issue pardons for the worst offenders who engaged in the destruction of the Capitol building or violence against law enforcement, and it must be pointed out that, per The Post's own cited statistics, nearly two-thirds of the estimated 1,400 charged participants are only charged with non-violent misdemeanors and did nothing wrong other than be on the Capitol grounds during the 2021 unrest.

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