Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) is warning Donald Trump that if he became president again and issued pardons for some January 6 defendants, that would be grounds for another impeachment.
“If Donald Trump pardons the January 6th rioters, the insurrectionists who almost destroyed our democracy, I think it’s another grounds for impeachment,” Blumenthal said. “I think to so violate the American trust by pardoning the January 6th insurrectionists would be itself a betrayal of trust that would warrant an impeachment process.”
“And I think that the motives and the potential influences on him in pardoning January 6th rioters, who literally caused deaths of capitol policemen, I think would be beyond the pale,” he added.
At a CNN Townhall forum on Wednesday night, Donald Trump said that he would potentially pardon some J6 defendants.
“What they’ve done to these people — they’ve persecuted these people,” Trump said. “And yeah, my answer is I am, most likely… I would say it will be a large portion of them.”
“It’ll be very early on,” he added. “And they’re living in hell right now. They’re living in hell. And they’re policemen and their firemen and their soldiers, and their carpenters and electricians, and they’re great people. Many of them are just great people.”
“I am inclined to pardon many of them. I can’t say for every single one because a couple of them probably they got out of control,” he added.
More than 1,000 people have been charged over the January 6 riots and more than 600 have been convicted so far.
Blumenthal made several false claims in his diatribe against former President Donald Trump. The primary distortion is that J6 rioters had killed Capitol Police officers.
Here are the causes of deaths for the Capitol Police officers who were at the January 6 event:
- Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died of natural causes the day after the riot on Jan. 6 after he suffered two strokes, according to Washington’s chief medical examiner.
- Capitol Police officer Howard Liebengood committed suicide three days after the riot.
- MPD Officer Jeffrey Smith committed suicide on January 15.
- MPD Officer Kyle DeFreytag committed suicide on July 10.
- Capitol Police Officer Gunther Hashida committed suicide on July 29.
Here are the causes of deaths for other people at the J6 event, according to Dr. Francisco Diaz, the district’s chief medical examiner:
- Ashli Babbitt, 35, died by homicide from a gunshot to the left shoulder. She was shot by a Capitol police officer while trying to climb through a door near the House chamber.
- Kevin Greeson, 55, died of natural causes from cardiovascular disease.
- Benjamin Phillips, 50, died of natural causes from cardiovascular disease.
- Roseanne Boyland, 34, died by accident from acute amphetamine intoxication.
As for the claim that the J6 rioters almost “destroyed” democracy, the U.S. government was never in peril of falling under the control of the rioters. Indeed, the Congress was initially evacuated due to a pipe bomb threat at the Democratic National Committee headquarters, not due to the physical threat from the rioters. Those responsible for the pipe bomb threat have not been caught.
The J6 defendants (with only one exception) did not carry firearms into the Capitol building, and indeed, Capitol Police officers have been shown on video opening doors for protesters, watching them passively as they made their way throughout the building, and even escorting Jacob Chansley and his followers to the senate chamber.