Trump says he is financially supporting some Jan 6 suspects and plans to pardon them if re-elected

Trump’s offer of support at odds with his track record of refusing to help allies in legal peril

Bevan Hurley
Friday 02 September 2022 02:01 BST
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Trump says he is financially supporting Jan 6 suspects
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Donald Trump has claimed he is financially supporting some suspects facing criminal charges for their role in the US Capitol riot, and plans to offer them pardons if re-elected.

In a new interview with conservative radio host Wendy Bell, Mr Trump said he had met with January 6 defendants at his office this week to offer them help with their legal fees

“I am financially supporting people that are incredible and they were in my office actually two days ago, so they’re very much in my mind,” he said. “It’s a disgrace what they’ve done to them.”

“They’re firemen, they’re police men, they’re people in the military,” he continued in a long, rambling statement in which he described prosecutors as “sick radical leftists”.

Mr Trump added he would be “looking very, very strongly at pardons” and offering an apology from the US government should he return to the White House.

“That is probably going to be best, because even if they go for two months or six months (to jail), they have sentences that could go a lot longer than that,” the former president said.

Mr Trump’s sudden expression of generosity would be at odds with his track record when it comes to helping allies in legal peril.

He famously refused to help his former attorney and longtime friend Rudy Giuliani with his mounting legal bills in connection with efforts to overturn the 2020 election, the Daily Beast reported in August last year.

Donald Trump told conservative talk radio host Wendy Bell he was financially supporting January 6 defendants
Donald Trump told conservative talk radio host Wendy Bell he was financially supporting January 6 defendants (Wendy Bell Radio)

More than 850 defendants have been criminally charged for taking part in the attack on the US Capitol, according to figures from the Justice Department.

Around 140 law enforcement officers were injured in the riots, as they were attacked with poles, baseball bats and bear spray.

More than 350 have already pleaded guilty to crimes, including Julian Khater, who admitted assaulting the late Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick on Thursday.

Mr Trump has repeatedly and falsely sought to recast the siege of the Capitol, in which his supporters attempted to block the 2020 elections from being certified, as a peaceful political protest.

President Joe Biden is expected to address extremist threats to US democracy in a speech in Philadelphia on Thursday night.

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