Donald Trump’s empty January 6th pardon threat just blew up in his face


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When Donald Trump publicly threatened over the weekend to somehow become President again and then magically pardon the January 6th Capitol attackers, we pointed out that this was a mere empty threat aimed at scaring us. Trump’s multiple criminal investigations, worsening cognitive abilities, and so on mean that he won’t be anywhere near the 2024 election. He just says this stuff because he knows it’ll scare a fraction of the people on our side to cower in fear, which is the only enjoyment Trump has left in his life.

Now it turns out Trump’s empty threat wasn’t just pointless, it’s promptly blown up in his face. Someone from the Trump administration just leaked to Politico that Trump wanted to pardon the Capitol attackers in January of 2020, before he left office, but White House Counsel Pat Cipollone talked him out of it.

We have a general rule around here which says that whoever is made to look good in these kinds of leaked stories is usually the one who leaked the story. But whether it was Cipollone or not, the bottom line is that someone from the Trump administration saw Trump’s threat to pardon the Capitol attackers in the future, and felt compelled to tell the media that Trump already tried to pardon them. By default, this person has also just informed the DOJ that Trump tried to pardon these folks, and offered himself or herself up as a witness.

This is crucial, because Trump’s attempt at pardoning his own January 6th co-conspirators is itself felony obstruction of justice; it would have motivated them not to ever testify against him. It makes it a lot easier to prosecute Trump, because these kinds of “coverup” crimes can often be easier to get a conviction on than the underlying crime itself. Trump is going to end up wishing he hadn’t opened his mouth.

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