After announcing his candidacy for president, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made remarks that could be construed as a backhanded jab at President Donald J. Trump, implying that he would pardon Trump for federal charges arising from January 6 if he were elected.
He also stated that he will evaluate all cases on behalf of those who are being ‘politically persecuted’ as a result of the January 6, 2021 events at the US Capitol.
The announcement was met with rage from Never Trump supporters.
The Lincoln Project promptly experienced a massive meltdown and criticized DeSantis:
"We will be aggressive at issuing pardons."@GovRonDeSantis will allow the traitors who broke into the Capitol on January 6th and Trump, the coward who incited it all, to walk free.
You know it and we do too: Ron DeSantis is unfit to be president of the United States. pic.twitter.com/MjQ1CHpgwe
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) May 26, 2023
“On the first day since he formally announced his presidential campaign Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis indicated he might pardon former President Donald Trump or January 6 rioters – vowing to review convictions by a ‘weaponized’ Justice Department,” The Daily Mail reported, adding:
“He made the statement in a radio appearance on the Clay and Buck show hosted by Clay Travis and Buck Sexton – after being asked specifically whether he thought January 6 defendants ‘deserve to have their cases examined by a Republican president.’
He was also asked whether he would consider pardoning former President Trump if he ‘gets charged with federal offenses’ and whether he would ‘look at potentially pardoning Trump himself’ based on the evidence that may emerge.
Liz Cheney also panicked:
BREAKING: Republican Liz Cheney brings down the hammer on MAGA candidates Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis, saying that anyone who wants to "pardon Jan. 6th defendants is not qualified to be President."
Donald Trump has promised to pardon a "large portion" of the treasonous… pic.twitter.com/jWnJfzBNdQ
— Occupy Democrats (@OccupyDemocrats) May 25, 2023
The site continued:
DeSantis, who trails Trump by more than 30 points in a new Fox News poll, spoke about a ‘weaponized’ FBI rather than excluding any possibility.
Hours after former President Donald Trump mocked Ron DeSantis by saying, “My Red Button is bigger, better, stronger, and it works” and yours “doesn’t,” the Florida governor said he would consider pardoning DeSantis and the other January 6 defendants on “Day One.”
‘The DOJ and FBI have been weaponized. We see that. We see it in a variety of contexts, some of which you mentioned,’ he responded.
DeSantis, a lawyer who attended Harvard Law School and served in the Navy J.A.G. corps at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, took the question on the same day that Stewart Rhodes, the commander of the far-right Oath Keepers, was sentenced to 18 years in prison for seditious conspiracy. The phrase was brought up during their conversation.
DeSantis stated that the manner in which the government chose whom to prosecute was unjust. He stated that he would commence his review on ‘Day One.’
Cheney was FURIOUS about the remarks:
Thank you Liz Cheney for calling out Ron DeSantis for vowing to pardon domestic terrorists. pic.twitter.com/TrsDMA102c
— Dash Dobrofsky (@DashDobrofsky) May 25, 2023
‘Some of it is the FBI going after parents, going to school board meeting. Some of it’s how they treat a pro-life demonstrator, how they don’t go after people that are attacking pro-lifers. And so what I’m going to do is — I’m going to do on Day One – I will have folks that will get together and look at all these cases, who are people who are victims of weaponization or political targeting, and we will be aggressive at issuing pardons. Now, some of these cases, some people may have a technical violation of the law.’
He complained of uneven application of justice and claimed people from Black Lives Matter ‘don’t get prosecuted at all.’
‘And so we’re going to find ways where that did not happen. And then we will use the pardon power — and I will do that at the front end. You know, a lot of people wait until the end of the administration to issue pardons. We’re going to find examples where government’s been weaponized against disfavored groups, and we will apply relief as appropriate. But it will be done on a case-by-case basis, because I think you’ve got to make sure that… There’s a whole bunch of cases that don’t necessarily get headlines. But if people are being treated just because they don’t get on TV or something, they’re being treated disfavorably. They need to have a fair hearing as well.’
More on this story via The Republic Brief:
Clay Travis confirmed that a Trump pardon specifically was on the table. CONTINUE READING…