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The violence of the Jan. 6 ‘hostages’ Trump says he’d ‘free’

The presumptive GOP presidential nominee said he’d release rioters. A report illuminates the violence such a move would endorse.


The presumptive GOP presidential nominee is running on a platform of retribution. Among other dark things, it features a vow to “free” Jan. 6 defendants — or “hostages,” as he calls them. A new report sheds light on the inmates in Washington who could be released if Donald Trump regains the White House. Overwhelmingly, they’re charged with, or convicted of, violence against law enforcement officers.

As of March 23, “27 of the 29 January 6th inmates held in D.C. have been charged with assaulting law enforcement officers in the U.S. Capitol or on its grounds,” according to the report, published by the Just Security website.

Of those 27, 19 had been convicted. The report says the cases include “some of the most disturbing acts of violence” at the Capitol and cites, among many others, one person who “helped lead the assault on police guarding the Capitol’s external security perimeter.”

Trump’s pledge to free Jan. 6 rioters not only condones, but celebrates, this violence.

Trump’s pledge to free Jan. 6 rioters not only condones, but celebrates, this violence.

And lest one think that his pledge subverts the “law and order” mantra he touts, it only reinforces it.

That’s because the GOP slogan has never been about upholding the law as written, but rather about signaling the maintenance of a certain social order. With the increased merger between the quadruply indicted Trump and the Republican Party, that “order” is whatever serves the party leader, regardless of whether it bends, breaks or even respects the law.

Indeed, if he wins in November, Trump would surely “free” himself of his own Jan. 6 charges, too.

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