Former president Donald Trump said he would issue full pardons and a government apology to rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and violently attacked law enforcement to stop the democratic transfer of power.
“I mean full pardons with an apology to many,” he told conservative radio host Wendy Bell on Thursday morning. Such a move would be contingent on Trump running and winning the 2024 presidential election.
Supporters of the former president attacked the Capitol as Congress was confirming Joe Biden’s electoral college win in the 2020 election, the worst attack on the seat of democracy in more than two centuries. The insurrection left four people dead, and an officer who had been sprayed with a powerful chemical irritant, Brian D. Sicknick, suffered a stroke and died the next day. About 140 members of law enforcement were injured as rioters attacked them with flagpoles, baseball bats, stun guns, bear spray and pepper spray.
As a result, the House impeached Trump for inciting an insurrection.
Trump’s comments to Bell came on the same day President Biden is scheduled to deliver a prime-time address in Philadelphia about extremist threats to American democracy and efforts to rescue “the soul of the nation,” and as Trump is battling in court over top-secret documents he apparently took to his Mar-a-Lago estate after leaving office and did not return despite being subpoenaed.
This development seems relevant as Meta must consider whether to replatform Trump on Facebook next year.