Bulwark: The distinguishing characteristic of the various Trump scandals/outrages is that they all take place in broad daylight, playing out in real time, without mystery or subtlety.
And so last night, the former president dangled pardons for the January 6 insurrectionists, and called for massive street protests if he ever faces criminal charges.
CONROE, TEXAS — Donald J. Trump said on Saturday that if elected to a new term as president, he would consider pardoning those prosecuted for attacking the United States Capitol on Jan. 6 of last year.
He also called on his supporters to mount large protests in Atlanta and New York if prosecutors in those cities, who are investigating him and his businesses, take action against him.
There was nothing veiled about his suggestion that he would hand out get-out-jail-free cards to the rioters — and, by implication, to anyone held legally accountable for his attempted coup.
“IF I RUN AND I WIN, WE WILL TREAT THOSE PEOPLE FROM JAN. 6 FAIRLY,” HE SAID, ADDRESSING A CROWD AT A FAIRGROUND IN CONROE, TEXAS, OUTSIDE HOUSTON, THAT APPEARED TO NUMBER IN THE TENS OF THOUSANDS. “WE WILL TREAT THEM FAIRLY,” HE REPEATED. “AND IF IT REQUIRES PARDONS, WE WILL GIVE THEM PARDONS, BECAUSE THEY ARE BEING TREATED SO UNFAIRLY.”
“IF THESE RADICAL, VICIOUS, RACIST PROSECUTORS DO ANYTHING WRONG OR ILLEGAL, I HOPE WE ARE GOING TO HAVE IN THIS COUNTRY THE BIGGEST PROTESTS WE HAVE EVER HAD IN WASHINGTON, D.C., IN NEW YORK, IN ATLANTA AND ELSEWHERE, BECAUSE OUR COUNTRY AND OUR ELECTIONS ARE CORRUPT,” HE SAID TO A RALLY AUDIENCE IN CONROE, TEXAS, READING FROM TELEPROMPTERS SET UP ON EITHER SIDE OF HIS LECTERN…
“THEY’RE TRYING TO PUT ME IN JAIL,” HE SAID. “THESE PROSECUTORS ARE VICIOUS, HORRIBLE PEOPLE. THEY’RE RACISTS AND THEY’RE VERY SICK. THEY’RE MENTALLY SICK. THEY’RE GOING AFTER ME WITHOUT ANY PROTECTION OF MY RIGHTS BY THE SUPREME COURT OR MOST OTHER COURTS.”
This stew of sedition and obstruction does not require extended commentary. Trump is not only fully embracing the January 6 Insurrection/Coup (and perhaps the next one), he is also clearly hoping to discourage any sort of cooperation with ongoing investigations. He’s obstructed justice before, and it’s worked for him.
IMPORTANT: Watch carefully. He reads this entire rant directly off the teleprompter. He fully intended to threaten unrest if he is criminally charged. And others worked with him to deliver that message.
— S.V. Dáte (@svdate) January 30, 2022
By raising the possibility of mass unrest, he is also — quite unsubtly — trying to intimidate the prosecutors and grand juries who are investigating him.
Two other points:
(1) As S.V. Date noted, Trump’s comments were not off-the-cuff or throw-away lines. He read “this entire rant directly off the teleprompter. He fully intended to threaten unrest if he is criminally charged. And others with him to deliver that message.”
(2) For anyone paying any attention at all, none of this should come as a surprise. None of it.
This isn’t just on Trump. Anyone seeking or accepting Trump’s endorsement ought to be made to answer for Trump’s pardon talk for rioters. Again, this should be on its face disqualifying.
— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) January 30, 2022