DeSantis: I Will Be 'Aggressive at Issuing Pardons' to Victims of DOJ Weaponization on Day One
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Newly declared GOP presidential candidate and current governor of Florida Ron DeSantis appeared on the “The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show” Thursday and vowed that if elected, he would immediately tackle the problem of the political weaponization of the Department of Justice.
As we’ve reported extensively here at RedState, Merrick Garland’s DOJ has turned the department into an attack machine for the Biden administration which metes out punishment depending on which side of the aisle you’re on. They’ve basically eschewed ethics and the rule of law altogether.
DeSantis vowed to push back on the first day of his administration and to aggressively use the power of the pardon that would be bestowed upon him by the Constitution. Co-host Clay Travis started the questioning:
CLAY TRAVIS: You have a law background. You’ve obviously been very aggressive legally in what you can and cannot do as the Governor of Florida. The Department of Justice, the FBI has gone after the January 6th defendants with reckless, I would say, abandon. A big part of being president is pardon powers. Do you think the January 6th defendants deserve to have their cases examined by a Republican president?
And, 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?
DESANTIS: The DOJ and FBI have been weaponized. We see that, we see it in a variety of contexts, some of which you mentioned. Some of it is the FBI going after parents, going to school board meetings, 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—I’m going to do on day one—I will have folks that will get together and look at all these cases who people are victims of weaponization or political targeting and we will be aggressive at issuing pardons.
DeSantis went on to point out the obvious double standards displayed by the department, such as the relentless pursuit of pro-life activists, the harsh treatment of anyone who was within earshot of the Capitol on Jan. 6, the endless investigations to nowhere of Donald Trump while Joe Biden’s many malfeasances go unnoticed —the list goes on.
Meanwhile, BLM rioters went almost entirely unpunished, while recent takeovers of state capitols are not treated as “insurrections,” they’re encouraged.
Now, some of these cases, 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. And so we’re going to find ways where that did not happen and then we will use the pardon power.
He also points out that he wouldn’t wait till the end of his term to take action, he’d start taking names right away:
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, 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 gotta make sure that there’s a whole bunch of cases that don’t necessarily get headlines. 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.
Notably, DeSantis did not rule out a potential pardon of Trump should the former president and GOP frontrunner be convicted in one of the multiple investigations against him:
CLAY TRAVIS: And that could be from a grandma who got arrested and prosecuted to all the way up to, potentially, Trump himself. Is that fair to say when you analyze what the charges might have been brought on a federal level?
DESANTIS: 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.
There’s obviously a long way to go in this campaign, and a lot left to be said. But regardless of who our Republican nominee is, I hope they take this tack. The DOJ has become a stain on our country and is an actual threat to our democracy, unlike all the straw dogs the Democrats keep throwing out there.
It’s music to my ears.