Former President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump looks in Rapid City, South Dakota, on September 8, 2023.
Former President Donald Trump on Friday said he would appoint a task force to review the cases of people he claimed had been unjustly prosecuted related to their political beliefs by the Biden administration, should he win a second term in 2024.
“Tonight, I’m announcing that the moment I win the election, I will appoint a special task force to rapidly review the cases of every political prisoner whose been unjustly persecuted by the Biden administration,” Trump said at the Pray Vote Stand Summit hosted by the Family Research Council in Washington, DC.
Trump said he wanted to “study the situation very quickly, and sign their pardons or commutations on day one.”
The comments from Trump, the front-runner for the 2024 Republican nomination, come as he faces a total of 91 charges across four criminal cases that he has claimed are politically motivated. He has pleaded not guilty in the cases – two federal and two state – related to election subversion in Georgia, a hush-money payment to an adult-film star in 2016 in Manhattan, the alleged mishandling of classified national defense documents and a federal investigation related to efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
Trump has before suggested he would likely pardon many January 6, 2021, rioters convicted of federal offenses, should he win reelection in 2024, though he said Thursday that it is “very unlikely” that he would pardon himself.
In his Friday remarks, Trump said of the potential pardons or commutations: “I want to sign them on day one. I want to see what’s going on. It’s a horrible thing that’s happening. Twenty-two years, 18 years, 10 years. It’s a terrible thing.”
In recent months, Stewart Rhodes, the founder of far-right militia group the Oath Keepers, was sentenced to 18 years in prison for leading a wide-ranging plot to keep Trump in power after he lost the 2020 election, and Enrique Tarrio, the former head of the far-right Proud Boys, was sentenced to 22 years for seditious conspiracy and leading a failed plot to prevent the transfer of power from Trump to Joe Biden. Dominic Pezzola, a lower-level member of the Proud Boys, was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Trump on Friday also pointed to the recent conviction of anti-abortion activists who were charged with illegally blocking people seeking reproductive health services from accessing a DC clinic, saying that “under Biden, others are being sentenced to 10, 15 and even 20 years in prison for retribution for their political beliefs.”