Ron DeSantis floats ‘pardons and commutations’ after Proud Boy sentenced to 22 years
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 5/5/23-Gov. Ron DeSantis during a news conference after the 2023 legislative session concluded, Friday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

'It was basically a protest that devolved into a riot.'

Gov. Ron DeSantis said that if he were President, he’d consider “pardons and commutations” for Proud Boys and others swept up in investigations of Jan. 6, 2021.

During a Newsmax interview Wednesday, DeSantis said his White House would “look at all these cases” involving Enrique Tarrio and others found guilty in the estimated 1,100 cases regarding what the Governor called a “protest that devolved into a riot.”

DeSantis contended “there are some examples of people that should not have been prosecuted.”

“They just walked into the Capitol,” DeSantis relayed. “If they were (Black Lives Matter) they would not have been prosecuted.

The Governor acknowledged “other examples of people that probably did commit misconduct,” but balked at the idea the violence was a threat to national security.

“They may have been violent, but to say it’s an act of terrorism when it was basically a protest that devolved into a riot, to do excessive sentences,” DeSantis said.

“Maybe they were guilty but 22 years, when other people that did other things got six months,” said DeSantis, a former Navy JAG lawyer.

“So I think we need a single standard of justice and so we’ll use pardons and commutations as appropriate to ensure that everyone is treated equally,” DeSantis said, pivoting to yet another aside about the Black Lives Matter movement, which did not interfere with the certification of a Presidential election.

“And as we know a lot of people with the BLM riots, they didn’t get prosecuted at all,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis has often commented on Jan. 6, 2021, including as a presidential candidate, and has softpedaled the actions of the demonstrators; indeed, he promised “day one” pardons weeks ago.

During a July interview with Russell Brand, DeSantis rejected the idea that the siege of the Capitol to block the certification of President Joe Biden’s election was an “insurrection,” and said that those protesters were not “seditionists,” but hapless folks who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“It was not an insurrection. These are people that were there to attend a rally and then they were there to protest,” DeSantis said.

He noted things went badly despite the benign intent of attendees, but blamed the media for framing the issue badly.

“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 to basically, you know, get as much mileage out of it and use it for partisan and for political aims,” DeSantis said, adding that “a lot of people that were there who were just there and they didn’t have any designs on doing anything.”

The Governor has taken the position also that Donald Trump didn’t do enough to stop it.

“I think it’s been well documented, kind of, his conduct when it first started how he sat there. He could have obviously leaned in harder, I think. I mean, even his own kids were texting saying, you know, he needs to do more, he needs to do more,” DeSantis told Megyn Kelly.

DeSantis admonished Trump during a press conference this summer also.

“I think it was shown how he was in the White House and didn’t do anything while things were going on. He should have come out more forcefully,” the Governor said during a press conference in West Columbia, South Carolina.

Even before running for President, DeSantis liked to mock people who took the Capitol riots to be particularly serious.

In February, DeSantis likened protests at the Florida Capitol to the Jan. 6 riot.

“It’s interesting that if they’re doing that from the Left, then the media says that’s ‘democracy in action.’ They don’t say it’s an insurrection if you take over a Capitol because of that, but I think that’s what it’s getting to.”

The Governor commented on Jan. 6 last spring, when he said concern about the riots that delayed congressional certification of the 2020 Presidential Election was a “dead horse” and a “loser” with voters.

On the anniversary of the incident, he offered similar dismissals of the focus of media and Democrats, diminishing the riot.

“This is their Christmas,” he said of the media and Democrats at a January 2022 news conference. He expanded on that take in a subsequent fundraising email, contending “Jan. 6th is like Christmas for the out-of-touch D.C., New York political and media class.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Desantis is a. Traitor

    September 6, 2023 at 9:15 pm

    Descant is is. Traitor . Nazi enabler , racist and a bigot

    He’s a failed leader

  • My Take

    September 6, 2023 at 9:46 pm

    “Slavery wasn’t all that bad either.”

  • PeterH

    September 6, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    Just another reason why DeSantis is wrong for our continued democracy!

  • ScienceBLVR

    September 6, 2023 at 10:00 pm

    Maybe they were guilty? You know, I’ve often wondered what would have been the result if these non violent protestors had actually gotten a hold of Pelosi or Pence? Would they have had a nice discussion about policy differences, or seriously injured them like many of the capitol police officers were? I’ve been to a few protests in my time, never tried to bash heads or break into buildings because my guy didn’t win.

    • Ron DeSantis is a sad, sad man

      September 7, 2023 at 1:55 am

      Well, that’s because you’re a liberal cuck. /s

    • gatorgab

      September 7, 2023 at 11:59 am

      You mean like the Democrats banging on the Supreme Court’s doors? What would they have done with the 6 justices who voted to overturn Roe v. Wade? One was arrested for trying to kill Kavanaugh!

  • Tropical

    September 6, 2023 at 10:36 pm

    I now officially hate you, desantis.

  • My Take

    September 6, 2023 at 10:37 pm

    Losers can’t pardon anyone.

  • Phyllis kline

    September 6, 2023 at 11:40 pm

    I think if they entered the White House they should be prosecuted and if they where involved in any of the riots they should be accountable they new what was going on or they would not have been there.

    • gatorgab

      September 7, 2023 at 11:57 am

      The ones that attempted to break into the White House were Democrats. They burned a historic church near Lafayette Park as well. But no charges against the communists.

    • John

      September 8, 2023 at 10:54 pm


  • My Take

    September 7, 2023 at 12:03 am

    “they knew what was going on or they would not have been there.”


  • Sonja Fitch

    September 7, 2023 at 4:32 am

    Once again Desantis says what he feels and believes! No one is above the law!!!! When you go too far you shall be responsible for your choices and behaviors. Get out Desantis

    I really miss the traditional Republican Party ! You know the one were we negotiated in good faith for the common good! Not this current group of trumpcult leaders!

    • John

      September 8, 2023 at 10:57 pm

      yes, yes yes preach it. That’s what I’m talking about.

  • Ocean Joe

    September 7, 2023 at 5:25 am

    Republican plan for voting: if your choice loses, grab the bear spray.

    The “weaponization of the Justice Department” led Tarrio to stand before a white, male, Irish-American, Trump appointed judge (which means his name was provided by the Federalist society).

    Trying to prevent the results of the election from being certified for the purpose of declaring the loser the winner was definitely an attempt to overthrow the government.

    • Spirit

      September 7, 2023 at 11:30 am


  • Me

    September 7, 2023 at 9:03 am

    It was okay for black lives matter to tear down every statue in every state and destroy history. It was okay for black lives matter to Luke and destroy everything in our cities and we’re not stopped none of them went to jail. The governor is right.

    • Richard Willie

      September 7, 2023 at 10:32 am

      “It was okay for black lives matter to tear down every statue in every state and destroy history. It was okay for black lives matter to Luke and destroy everything in our cities”

      Really? Every statue in every state? They looted and destroyed everything in our cities?

      Perhaps you could share this data?

      • Spirit

        September 7, 2023 at 12:13 pm

        Hide history, don’t offend anyone – what a coward’s way out

    • Spirit

      September 7, 2023 at 11:47 am

      Hide history, don’t offend anyone – what a coward’s way out

    • Mimi Hollister

      September 7, 2023 at 7:26 pm

      You are the problem with America! Why do you feel the need to give a “pass” to these criminals, regardless of other instances of criminal behavior? A criminal is a criminal and what part of putting your democracy at risk not phasing you? Logical people, who care about their freedoms and safety DO NOT think that what happened on 1/6 should be forgotten or ignored regardless of the summer riots!

      • gatorgab

        September 8, 2023 at 3:17 pm

        So can we assume you are in support of the Georgia DA and his indictment of 61 Antifa members in their attacks on the Atlanta Police Training facility?


    September 7, 2023 at 9:09 am

    All anyone can expect from an idiot (i.e., small man Ronnie) is stupid comments. This magget of a gov is always showing his ignorance. I think he should take the place of those in jail. Who knows, he might even make friends with his cell mate….the Trumpet man!

  • Andrew

    September 7, 2023 at 9:23 am

    So a win in the State of Florida now empowers our Governor to pardon domestic terrorists,accept checks from the family of ‘Blackwater’ who were responsible for the unnecessary deaths of US Soldiers, but the allowance of Putin to invade Ukraine, then Africa? Wow! And we thought 45s silence on Putin paying the Taliban was the diplomacy of Fascism?

  • gatorgab

    September 7, 2023 at 11:55 am

    Governor DeSantis is absolutely correct. Remember the riots in front of the White House where a historic church was burned by BLM and antifa rioters? Was ANYONE prosecuted for that? They tried to break into the Shite House – wasn’t that sedition? Democrats are pussies.

  • Kenneth L Gallaher

    September 7, 2023 at 1:06 pm

    Well DUHSadist will never be POTUS so that’s just big talk.

  • Sylvia Williams

    September 7, 2023 at 3:35 pm

    Desantis is a horses ass! Im pretty sure he wont get allected Dog Catcher when is time is up as governor. What a disgrace . Twice now he has refused large sums of money to help Floridians stay on thier feet and improve their homes to better withstand hurricanes. Those tax dollars are to benefit all people Democrats and Republicans alike. Whites, Blacks, hispanics , Asians. Jews and every other nationality pays taxes along with the LGBTQ community. God is watching Ron, you should think about that when making these decisions. You just never know who might save your life one day!

  • gatorgab

    September 7, 2023 at 3:39 pm

    So you’re the bitch that wants to saddle your children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren with an unpayable national debt. When is enough? How many more handouts before SOMEONE puts their foot down?

  • Dr Jan Juan Langrod

    September 7, 2023 at 4:05 pm

    Ron Deathsantis in bed with Jam 6; Seditionists! Deathsantis Trump and the GOP must go!

  • John Barron

    September 7, 2023 at 4:46 pm

    Meatball DeSicktits is becoming a bigger coward every day!! It’s breathtaking and unprecedented!!! America doesn’t want cowardice and criminals, it wants law and order!!!!

  • gatorgab

    September 8, 2023 at 3:18 pm

    Why do Democrats fellate communists?


    September 9, 2023 at 5:56 pm

    Big Ronnie never disappoints. He always says or does the most stupidest things!

    Ronnie….Congrats…now, you’re a national discrace! You want to pardoon those who would distroy our demonocracy? If I could destroy you wigth my thoughts…you would be gone!!!!!!! You are a discrace to FL and the entire nation. Stupid has no place in leadership!!!!

    • gatorgab

      September 10, 2023 at 1:01 am

      are you a poorly educated immigrant or just stupid? Your grammar sucks and you sound exceedingly uneducated. Ron DeSantis on the other hand, is a graduate of Harvard. Put that in your ass and fart it.

Comments are closed.


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