National Security

Trump called into small rally held in support of DC-jailed Jan. 6 prisoners

Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Former President Trump said Jan. 6 prisoners are being treated “very unfairly” during a call-in to a small rally at the Washington, D.C., jail on Tuesday.

Trump called Micki Witthoeft, the mother of Ashli Babbitt, who authorities shot and killed during the Capitol riot, to express his support for those being detained at the jail in connection with their involvement on Jan. 6.

“It’s a terrible thing that has happened to a lot of people that are being treated very, very unfairly,” Trump said. “We love Ashli, and it was so horrible what happened to her.  That that man shot Ashli is a disgrace.”

Babbitt’s family filed a lawsuit last year in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia seeking records on the officers that shot her.

The former president’s comments were posted by a livestreamer who said he covers the America First movement and recent trucker convoys.

As Trump spoke, a protester wearing a chicken mask waved a sign that read “fart noises” behind Witthoeft, who was holding the phone to a microphone.

“There’s never been a thing like this has happened in our country, and I just want to tell everybody that’s listening, we’re with you, we’re working with a lot of different people on this, and we can’t let this happen,” Trump said.

Trump has repeatedly criticized the treatment of Jan. 6 defendants since leaving office.

During an interview with conservative radio host Wendy Bell earlier this month, Trump said he was “financially supporting” some of the defendants and that he would consider “very strongly and very favorably” pardoning the defendants if he wins a second term in 2024.

Trump has mulled another bid for the White House but has not yet made a formal announcement.

The former president’s suggestion that he might pardon the defendants was met with strong opposition from many GOP senators, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), a Trump ally.

Others in the party, however, like Trump, condemned the treatment of Jan. 6 prisoners. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) visited the jail in November, and her office referred to their cells as the “patriot wing” of the facility.

The month prior, a federal judge found D.C. corrections officials in contempt over the treatment of a Jan. 6 defendant and referred the matter to the Department of Justice for a civil rights investigation.

After an inspection of the facility found “deplorable” conditions, the judge ordered the defendant, who was diagnosed with cancer, be transferred to another prison.

The Capitol attack has led to numerous investigations. Federal prosecutors have charged more than 870 total defendants from nearly every state as of last week, and about 380 of those individuals have pleaded guilty.

Tags Ashli Babbitt Ashli Babbitt Department of Justice Donald Trump Donald Trump Jan. 6 Capitol riot January 6 attack on the Capitol january 6 defendants Lindsey Graham Marjorie Taylor Greene Marjorie Taylor Greene Superior Court of the District of Columbia Washington D.C.

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