In an appearance on the conservative talk radio program “The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show”, now-official presidential candidate Ron DeSantis said that on the first day of his presidency he would have his staff examine cases of January 6th rioters, pro-life demonstrators, and parents arrested over their actions at school board meetings. Upon those examinations being completed, he said, he would be “aggressive” in issuing pardons to those he feels deserve them.
DeSantis has, as of late, built a reputation as a more openly pro-life and school-focused politician, but his willingness to appease the aggrieved over January 6th is a new development. As DeSantis wades into the Republican race, he’ll need to balance speaking fluent Make America Great Again while also distancing himself from its founder in former President Donald Trump.
“We will use the pardon power — and I will do that at the front end,” DeSantis said, claiming that the Justice Department and the FBI had been “weaponized” to politically punish “disfavored groups.” When asked whether he would consider pardoning Trump for January 6th of anything else, DeSantis responded by saying “any example of disfavored treatment based on politics or weaponization would be included in that review, no matter how small or how big.”
If DeSantis honors this pledge, he’ll bring his position on that tragic day at the US Capitol that saw 140 law enforcement officers injures and five lives lost closer to his rival Trump’s. The former president has praised the rioters at many occasions and said he would pardon a “large portion” of the people convicted of federal offenses for their role in the day’s events.
“I am inclined to pardon many of them,” Trump said at a town hall hosted by CNN in New Hampshire. “I can’t say for every single one, because a couple of them, probably they got out of control.”