Trump Vows to Serve ‘Justice for All’ in His First Act as President

As Joe Biden releases his budget proposal for 2025, which includes a wealth tax, extra funding for social security, and free college for thousands of Americans, Donald Trump has begun outlining his vision for his Presidency. His first act? Freeing the imprisoned January 6 Rioters.

Trump’s Bold Promise

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Trump, in comments on social media, has promised to “Free the January 6 Hostages being wrongfully imprisoned!” as one of his first acts as President. 

The Aftermath of January 6: 

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After storming the Capitol on January 6, 2021, almost 1400 people were charged with crimes in the months following. 

700 Plead Guilty, 300 Sentenced

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Nearly 700 defendants pleaded guilty and received charges, and over 300 were sentenced to time in jail. 

Deaths During the Capitol Riot

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Five people died in the riot, including a police officer and other officers later took their own lives.

Former Proud Boys Leader’s 22-Year Sentence

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The harshest sentence for these defendants was a 22-year stretch handed to former Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio. He was found guilty of “seditious conspiracy” by a jury, while three other Proud Boys leaders were sentenced to between 15 and 18 years.

Trump’s Previous Hints

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Trump has, in the past, made remarks about dismissing the charges against these defendants. 

Pardoning Defendants in Question

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In a CNN interview last year, Trump said, “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.” 

Trump’s Direct Statement

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He furthered these comments in a January rally this year with a message to Biden – “Release the J6 hostages, Joe. Release them, Joe. You can do it real easy, Joe.”

A Shift in Trump’s Campaign Strategy

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However, this is the first time that Trump has directly indicated that freeing these hostages would be a priority for him, and it marks a turning point for the Trump campaign as they begin to roll out their vision for a Trump Presidency.

CBS News Poll Insights

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A CBS News Poll from January 6, 2024, indicated that Republicans back Trump’s efforts to grant pardons to those involved. 

Republican Support for Pardons

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Over 66% of Republicans surveyed said they would support a pardon, while only 34% were against it. 

Changing Sentiments

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On average, polling over this issue has softened as time has gone on, with many Republicans now erring on the softer side for these defendants.

Biden Campaign’s Response to Trump’s Promise

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Biden’s campaign reacted swiftly, with a spokesperson stating, “Donald Trump has shown he’ll do whatever it takes to hold on to power – including excusing and encouraging political violence.” 

Liz Cheney’s Criticism of Trump

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Republican Liz Cheney, who has been critical of Trump in the past, wrote on social media, “If your response to Trump’s assault on our democracy is to lie & cover up what he did, attack the brave men & women who came forward with the truth, and defend the criminals who violently assaulted the Capitol, you need to rethink whose side you’re on. Hint: It’s not America’s.”

Republican Reinvestigation of January 6

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Trump’s remarks come as Republicans are launching a reinvestigation of the events on January 6. Mike Johnson (House Speaker) stated that the investigation was “necessary to correct the incomplete narrative advanced by the partisan Select Committee.” 

Trump’s Legal Troubles

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Trump is currently facing charges in Washington and Georgie for his suspected role in the attack, and Republicans are hoping a new investigation can help his case. He stands accused of participating in an illegal scheme to overturn the results of the 2020 election. 

Trump’s Defense

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Trump has likened his cases to that of the January 6 rioters, calling himself a “proud political dissident” and a “public enemy of a rogue regime” in recent rallies. In a rally earlier this month, Trump defended those accused, stating, “They’re policemen, they’re firemen, they’re accountants, they’re lawyers in some cases. They’re put in jail for extended periods of time for very long periods of time. They’re hostages.”

Campaign Symbolism

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Trump has also been using a song called “Justice For All” as his campaign track, sung by the “J6 Prison Choir” – a group of guys imprisoned for their role in the January 6 riots. The choir sings the Star Spangled Banner while Trump recites the Pledge of Allegiance. 

Questions from Republican Voters

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Trump seems intent on pardoning these hostages, although some Republican voters have cast doubt on Trump’s claim and have been asking why he didn’t use his power as the President to overturn their charges.

Additional Priorities

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As well as freeing the “hostages,” Trump stated his first acts would also be to “Close the Border” and “DRILL, BABY, DRILL.” Time will tell whether he follows through with these promises or not.

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