Donald trump in front, insurrectionist on jan 6 vigil in back

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Trump hypes vigil in support of jailed Jan. 6 participants—most of whom face charges for assaulting cops

It contrasts starkly with his pro-police agenda.


Tricia Crimmins


Posted on Apr 2, 2024

Former President Donald Trump has been an adamant supporter of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot participants who are still currently in D.C. jails for charges and convictions associated with the insurrection, hyping a vigil in support of them recently.

But reporting from Just Security shows that the inmates Trump hopes to pardon if re-elected were charged primarily with assaulting police officers.

In a Truth Social post from March 22, Trump shared a photo of a flyer for a vigil on “Freedom Corner,” near D.C.’s city jail where right-wing activists gather nightly to “stand in solidarity” with the jailed insurrectionists. Trump’s post marked the 600th gathering, organized by Micki Witthoeft. Witthoeft’s daughter, Ashli Babbit, was shot and killed by law enforcement while she was storming the Capitol building.

Trump said multiple times—both verbally and on Truth Social—that he plans to pardon all the Jan. 6 inmates. But when Just Security, a New York University law school-run forum that focuses on pragmatic solutions to bolster democracy, looked into what the 29 still jailed insurrectionists were charged with, it found that 27 of them assaulted law enforcement officers.

Additionally, 19 of those inmates were convicted with assaulting officers or pled guilty to doing so. Some of the 27 inmates detonated explosive devices that harmed officers, assaulted them with electric shock, and/or bludgeoned them.

The two alleged insurrectionists who didn’t assault law enforcement were charged with civil disorder, obstructing an official proceeding of Congress, and felony gun charges.

Trump has made his pro-police beliefs a focal point of his campaign, and his supporters frequently criticize President Joe Biden for the lax southern border security, which they say is responsible for an uptick in crime against Americans by migrants, like the death of Laken Riley.

And last week, Trump made headlines for attending the wake of a slain New York police officer.

The contradiction between Trump’s public statements about police and his support for those who assaulted police officers isn’t lost on D.C. officers themselves. Yesterday, former and current D.C. police and department leadership denounced Trump and his affinity for insurrectionists at a Biden campaign-organized press conference.

“Trump calls the criminals who attacked… our Capitol hostages, patriots and political prisoners,” Spectrum News 1 reported former U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. Aqulino Gonell said. “If they are those things, then who are we, the police officers who defended the Capitol?”

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*First Published: Apr 2, 2024, 11:30 am CDT