33 Virginians Have Been Charged for Their Role in the Insurrection. Trump Wants to Pardon Them and Others.

FILE - Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally on Jan. 15, 2022, in Florence, Ariz. Trump is already declaring himself the 45th and 47th president of the United States. But the quip during a round of golf — captured on shaky cellphone video — belies the growing challenges Trump is confronting. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

By Meghin Moore

February 1, 2022

During a “Save America Rally,” former President Donald Trump suggested that if elected in 2024, he would pardon people who participated in the deadly Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol rally.

Over the weekend, former President Donald Trump spoke to supporters in Texas at a rally where he suggested that he’d pardon individuals, including more than 30 people from Virginia, who were involved in the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection.

“If I run and if I win, we will treat those people from January 6 fairly. We will treat them fairly. And if it requires pardons, we will give them pardons because they are being treated so unfairly,” he said.

The insurrection saw many far-right Trump supporters storm the US Capitol, leaving around 140 law enforcement officials with injuries, and over $1 million of damage to the building itself. To date, at least 33 people from Virginia ranging in age from 21 to 65, have been arrested and charged with federal crimes, including violent entry, disorderly conduct, and civil disorder.

One Newport News resident‚ Robert Packer, was spotted wearing a “Camp Auschwitz” sweatshirt during the attack. He pleaded guilty on Jan. 26 to many charges. He is expected to be sentenced on April 7.

Edward Hemenway from Winchester attended the Stop the Steal rally with some family members and was the 17th rioter to be sentenced. While at the rally, he heard then-President Trump say “something about taking Pennsylvania Avenue,” so the group headed towards the US Capitol building. One of the family members ended up going back to the hotel they were staying at, while Hemenway and his cousin, Robert Bauer, swept up in the crowd, took selfies once in the Capitol building. 

Officials with the Department of Justice launched what has become the biggest criminal investigation in the nation’s history, involving criminal prosecutors across the country, as well as federal investigators. 

Rep. Gerry Connolly, who represents VA-11 in Northern Virginia, tweeted on Jan. 31: “Thousands of Americans are sitting in jail for low-level, non-violent drug offenses, and who does Donald Trump want to pardon? Insurrectionists who launched a violent attack against the United States government, of course.” 

To date, there have been more than 750 people arrested and charged for their roles in the Capitol insurrection. NPR has released a searchable database that details what each individual has been charged with, and if they’ve pleaded guilty or not guilty.

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