As Donald Trump continues on his path toward reelection in 2024, some members of the GOP have taken issue with one of his pre-campaign promises.
Trump, who is widely believed to be the presumptive GOP nominee for the next presidential election, hasn’t yet officially announced his candidacy, likely due to the timing of the midterm elections. Entering the race too early would give the Democrats a big, easy target in many of the hotly-contested races from coast to coast.
But there have been hints, with Trump even going so far as to suggest that he’d grant pardons to the “political prisoners” arrested in connection with the events of January 6th, 2021.
This is not sitting well with several members of the Republican Party.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), one of Trump’s closest allies, told The Hill that granting pardons to Jan. 6 protesters is “a bad idea.”Trending:
“Pardons are given to people who admit misconduct, rehabilitate themselves. They’re not supposed to be used for other purposes,” he said.
Other Republican senators are joining Graham in criticizing Trump’s promise to pardon the Jan. 6 protesters as inappropriate.Advertisement - story continues below
“I don’t think potential candidates should hold pardons out as a promise,” said Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), who is usually a reliable Trump ally. “It’s somewhat problematic for me on a moral level and an ethical level — sort of like promising other giveaways to particular individuals.
“I prefer avoiding those kinds of things,” he said.
Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) said he wouldn’t support granting pardons to people convicted of crimes because of their actions on Jan. 6.
“If he were elected, he would have a constitutional ability to do it,” he said of Trump’s promise of pardons. “I would disagree with it. I think there was insurrection and I think these folks need to be punished.Advertisement - story continues below
“I was there. This was truly violent. People were injured, people were killed. I have very little mercy for the individuals that were involved in that activity that day,” Rounds added.
The events of January 6th continue to cultivate a heated debate among Republicans, drawing a distinct line between the old guard GOP and the MAGA Movement.