• Trump said that if re-elected he would "very, very seriously" consider pardoning January 6 defendants. 
  • He said that those charged in relation to the riot were being "unfairly treated" as "worse than terrorists and murderers."
  • His comments come a day after the January 6 committee's third public hearing.

Former President Donald Trump indicated that he would pardon those charged and sentenced over the Capitol riot if he were to become president again.

Speaking at a Faith and Freedom Coalition event in Nashville, Tennessee, on Friday, Trump claimed that January 6 defendants are "having their lives totally destroyed" and are treated "worse than terrorists and murderers."

"If I become president someday, if I decide to do it, I will be looking at them very, very seriously for pardons," Trump said. 


Trump said the defendants had been treated "very unfairly" and claimed that most had been charged for "parading through the Capitol."

At least 865 people have been charged with crimes relating to the insurrection, and more than 309 have pleaded guilty to various charges, including unlawfully entering the Capitol, assault, and seditious conspiracy.

Although Trump is yet to announce whether he will run in 2024 officially, he has repeatedly hinted at it.

"One of the most urgent tasks facing the next Republican president — I wonder who that will be," Trump said on Friday, according to PBS, prompting chants of "USA" from the crowd.

"Would anybody like me to run for president?" he said to more cheers.

It is not the first time Trump has suggested considering pardons for January 6 defendants if re-elected.

Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham, who also spoke at the same event on Friday, said in January that he thought Trump's promise to pardon Capitol riot defendants was "inappropriate." 

"I don't want to send any signal that it was ok to defile the Capitol," Graham said on CBS at the time. Trump responded by calling Graham a RINO — "Republican in Name Only."

Trump's Friday speech comes amid ongoing January 6 committee hearings examining the unprecedented effort by the former president and his allies to overturn a US presidential election. 

The third hearing on Thursday examined the pressure campaign targeting then-Vice President Mike Pence leading up to January 6. 

During his speech on Friday, Trump doubled down on his attacks on Mike Pence and reiterated his baseless claims of election fraud.

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