Gov. Ron DeSantis said that as president, he would be willing to pardon former President Donald Trump, the Daily Wire reported. The Florida Republican launched his campaign this week to become the 2024 GOP presidential nominee.
This revelation came during an interview on Thursday's episode of the "The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show." DeSantis promised a review of Trump's cases on his first day in office to determine if the former president was the victim of a political prosecution.
Trump is embroiled in two major federal cases that many see as a continuation of the political witchhunts that began in 2016. The former president is accused of mishandling of classified documents, and a separate case involves alleged attempts to interfere in the 2020 election.
Travis asked DeSantis about the possibility of a presidential pardon regarding, not just for Trump but for others swept up in the arrests at the Capitol on Jan. 6. Many believe that suspects involved in the incident were prosecuted unfairly due to politics.
"Do you think the January 6 defendants deserve to have their cases examined by a Republican president?" Travis began. "And if Trump, let's say, gets charged with federal offenses and you are the President of the United States, would you look at potentially pardoning Trump himself based on the evidence that might emerge of those charges?" Travis asked.
"The DOJ and FBI have been weaponized. We see that," DeSantis charged.
"We see it in a variety of contexts, some of which you mentioned," the governor went on. "Some of it is the FBI going after parents going to school board meeting," DeSantis said about the controversial move from Attorney General Merrick Garland in his infamous memo, USA Today reported.
"Some of it's how they treat a pro-life demonstrator, how they don't go after people that are attacking pro-lifers. And so what I'm going to do is — I'm going to do on day one — I will have folks that will get together and look at all these cases, who are people who are victims of weaponization or political targeting, and we will be aggressive at issuing pardons," DeSantis promised.
"Now, some of these cases, some people may have a technical violation of the law," he added. "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, and so we're going to find ways where that did not happen," DeSantis said.
"And then we will use the pardon power — and I will do that at the front end. You know, a lot of people wait until the end of the administration to issue pardons," DeSantis pointed out.
"We're going to find examples where government's been weaponized against disfavored groups, and we will apply relief as appropriate. But it will be done on a case-by-case basis because I think you've got to make sure that … there's a whole bunch of cases that don't necessarily get headlines," the governor added.
"But if people are being treated just because they don't get on TV or something, they're being treated disfavorably. They need to have a fair hearing as well," DeSantis said.
When pushed further about pardoning Trump, DeSantis implied he would do the same for the former president. "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."
It's an amazing thing to hear a presidential candidate take on such a polarizing subject that also happens to support his political opponent. DeSantis seems to be a principled man intent on doing the right thing, whatever the cost, and that's something unusual in a candidate.