Governor Ron DeSantis went on Russell Brand's podcast yesterday and was asked what he thinks about the protests on January 6, 2021.
"It was not an insurrection," said DeSantis. "These are people that were there to attend a rally and they were there to protest."
Brand asked Desantis about the extreme levels of funding given to the Capitol Police in response to the protests. This includes a roughly $1 billion security supplemental Congress passed in 2021. Also, $734.6 million was budgeted through an omnibus bill in 2022 — a more than 20 percent increase, which increases the total number of people working for the agency up to 2,126 officers and 567 civilians.
"I think it's ridiculous how much money they've pumped into the Capitol Police," said DeSantis.
‼️WATCH! Ron DeSantis talks about January 6!
“It was NOT an insurrection.
The idea that this was a plot to overthrow the government of the U.S. is NOT true.
To say that they are seditionists is just wrong.” pic.twitter.com/VukgUW8A4a
— Chris Nelson 🇺🇸 🏝 (@ReOpenChris) July 22, 2023
DeSantis expounded on what he thinks about the January 6 protests to the 2020 Election results. A great deal of Americans strongly doubt that Joe Biden actually received over 80 million votes, more than even Barack Obama.
"It was not an insurrection," said DeSantis. "These are people that were there to attend a rally and they were there to protest. And it devolved into a riot. But the idea that this was somehow a plan to overthrow the government of the United States is not true. It is something that the media had spun up just to try to basically get as much mileage out of it and to use it for partisan and for political aims."
DeSantis challenged critics to prove that January 6 was an insurrection.
"We just have to be honest about it. If somebody is honestly doing an insurrection against the U.S. government then prove that that's the case and I will be happy to accept it," said DeSantis. "All you're showing me is there were a lot of protestors there but it ended up devolving in a way that was unfortunate of course, but to say that they were seditionists is just wrong."
In an interview with Clay Travis and Buck Sexton in May, DeSantis said he would begin issuing "aggressive pardons" of American's targeted by the Justice Department on day one of his presidency.
"The DOJ and the FBI have been weaponized," said DeSantis. "What I am going to do. On day one, I will have folks that get together and look at all these cases, people who are victims of weaponization or political targeting, and we will be aggressive at issuing pardons."
🚨Governor Ron DeSantis says he will begin reviewing January 6 defendants cases on DAY ONE.
“Day One – I will have folks that get together and look at all these cases, people who are victims of weaponization or political targeting, and we will be aggressive at issuing pardons.” pic.twitter.com/ts5lEsV5yq
— Chris Nelson 🇺🇸 🏝 (@ReOpenChris) May 28, 2023
DeSantis says in the cases of people who technically violated a law, he wants to see fair treatment.
"Some people may have a technical violation of the law, but if there are three other people who did the same thing but just in a context like BLM, and they don't get prosecuted at all, that is uneven application of justice."
DeSantis says these pardons will come on the front end of his presidency, not at the end of his term as is traditional. He also said he will be looking for examples.
"We are going to do it on the front end. We are going to find examples where government has been weaponized against disfavored groups and we are going to apply relief where appropriate," said DeSantis.
DeSantis said he will look at it on a case by case basis, from President Trump himself, to the January 6ers who do not make headlines.
"It will be done on a case by case basis. There's a whole bunch of cases that do not necessarily get headlines, but if people are being treated just because they don't get on TV or something, they are being treated disfavorably. They need to have a fair hearing as well."
DeSantis said this review will include anyone given disfavored treatment, from regular citizens, up to President Trump himself.
"I would say any example of disfavored treatment based on politics or weaponization would be included in that review no matter how small or how big."