Donald Trump said on Thursday he would forgive and apologize to those who took part in the deadly attack on the US Capitol on January 6 if he were elected to the White House again.
“I mean full pardons with apologies to many,” he told Wendy Bell, a conservative radio host, on Thursday. “I’m going to look very, very strongly at pardons, full pardons.”
Five people died in the attack and more than 140 law enforcement officers were injured. More than 875 people have been charged with crimes related to Jan. 6, according to an NPR tracker. So far, 370 people have pleaded guilty to crimes.
Trump also said he was offering financial support to some of those involved in the attack. “I financially support people who are amazing and they were in my office two days ago, so they’re very much on my mind,” Trump said. “It’s a shame what they did to them. What they did to these people is shameful.
The extent of Trump’s financial assistance was not immediately clear.
In a series of televised hearings this summer, the US House panel investigating the attack on the Capitol presented ample evidence that Trump encouraged crowds to come to the Capitol on January 6 and resisted efforts to to suppress violence.
The panel is expected to continue its work this fall, but the decision whether or not to bring criminal charges will ultimately be made by the US Department of Justice.
Trump has strongly hinted that he will run for president again in 2024, but has so far not confirmed any offers. If he does run, he will automatically be the heavy favorite to be the Republican nominee as his hold on the party and his base remains strong.
Trump’s comments came the same day Thomas Webster, a retired New York Police Department officer, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, the longest sentence to date for any defendant in the attack. , according to the Associated Press. A jury found Webster guilty after arguing he was acting in self-defense when he assaulted a Washington DC police officer and removed his gas mask.
“Some of the lawyers on the other side, they are the coldest people. They don’t care about families. They don’t care about anything,” Trump said Thursday.
Amit Mehta, the U.S. District Judge who sentenced Webster, said that aside from the policeman, the other victim of the attack was “democracy.”