On Thursday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis expressed his willingness to consider pardoning former President Donald Trump and others who face charges relating to the Capitol riot, should he win the presidency in 2024.
DeSantis, who officially announced his candidacy for the presidential race on Wednesday, expressed his commitment to explore potential cases of perceived political bias in prosecutorial actions. “What I’m going to do is … on day one, I will have folks that will get together and look at all these cases [of] people who are victims of weaponization or political targeting, and we will be aggressive at issuing pardons,” he said during his appearance on the “Clay & Buck” radio show.
DeSantis pledged to initiate an immediate review upon taking office, scrutinizing cases where individuals may have been targeted politically. He emphasized the necessity to ensure a fair application of justice, particularly in instances where the law may have been technically violated, such as during the Capitol riot of January 6, 2021.
He stressed that his prospective use of the presidential pardon power wouldn’t be limited to high-profile cases, but would extend to all instances of alleged unjust treatment based on political bias, regardless of the individual’s public profile.
In response to a question by co-host Clay Travis about whether such pardons could potentially extend to Trump, DeSantis confirmed that any perceived instances of politically motivated or weaponized prosecution would be considered, regardless of the scale of the case.
Former President Trump currently faces a federal special counsel investigation focusing on the alleged storage of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate and his potential role in inciting the Capitol riot. Should DeSantis be elected and choose to pardon Trump, such action would effectively absolve the former president of any potential convictions in these cases.
However, DeSantis’ presidential pardon power would not influence the ongoing legal issues Trump faces in Georgia or Manhattan, related to attempts to overturn the 2020 election results and charges of business fraud, respectively.