DeSantis on J6 Trial: ‘If They Were BLM… Would Not Have Been Prosecuted’

This week, Ron DeSantis called out America’s two-tiered justice system in a new interview. After four members of the Proud Boys were handed down verdicts for their involvement in the January 6 riot, DeSantis aimed their “excessive sentences,” which ranged from 15 to 22 years in prison. The Florida Governor compared their treatment to those of the Black Lives Matter rioters–many of whom received no jail time.

Currently running for President, DeSantis sat down with Newsmax’s Eric Bolling on Wednesday. He said he would examine the January 6 cases if elected to the White House.

“We will look at all those cases. I mean, so there’s some examples of people that should not have been prosecuted. They just walked into the Capitol…”

“If they were BLM, they would not have been prosecuted,” DeSantis added.

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The four Proud Boys members sentenced this week included the organization’s national chairman, Enrique Tarrio, who was handed down 22 years behind bars–the longest sentence of any Capitol riot case. The verdict has been criticized as unfair, given that Tarrio was not in Washington, D.C., at the time of the riot.

DeSantis did not commit to giving a blanket pardon, arguing there were “examples of people that probably did commit misconduct” and that many of the people on Capitol grounds “may have been violent.” DeSantis was critical of the double standard being applied to January 6 cases.

“To say it’s an act of terrorism when it was basically a protest that devolved into a riot, to do excessive sentences — you can look at – okay, maybe they were guilty but 22 years if other people that did other things got six months?”

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DeSantis also vowed that if elected President in 2024, he would use pardons to ensure a “single standard of justice.” He again called out the leniency shown to Black Lives Matter rioters in the summer of 2020.

“I think we need a single standard of justice and so we’ll use pardons and commutations as appropriate to ensure that everyone’s treated equally. And as we know, a lot of people with the BLM riots, they didn’t get prosecuted at all.”

On the campaign trail, DeSantis has repeatedly challenged media coverage of the January 6 riot. In a July interview with comedian Russell Brand, DeSantis pushed back against claims that the riot was an “insurrection.”

“These were people that were there to attend a rally, and then they were there to protest. Now, it devolved, and it devolved into a riot, but the idea that this was a plan to somehow overthrow the government of the United States is not true, and it’s something that the media had spun up just to try and basically get as much mileage out of it and use it for partisan and for political aims,”

“If somebody is honestly doing an insurrection against the U.S. government, then prove that that’s the case, and I’ll be happy to accept it,” DeSantis added. “But all you’re showing me is that there were a lot of protesters there, and it ended up devolving […] But to say that they were seditionists is just wrong.”


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