Feb 1, 2022 - Politics & Policy

McConnell says he opposes shortening sentences for Jan. 6 rioters after Trump proposed pardons

Mitch McConnell

Mitch McConnell. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said during a Senate Republican leaders press conference Tuesday that he would oppose shortening the sentences of people who participated in the deadly Capitol riot.

Why it matters: McConnell's comments come days after former President Trump suggested that he may pardon people who have been charged and sentenced for their roles in the Capitol riot if he is re-elected.

What he's saying: Asked how concerned he was about Trump's comments regarding potential pardons, McConnell replied, "Well, I can speak for myself. The election of 2020 was decided December the 14th of 2020 when the Electoral College certified the winner of the election."

  • "What we saw here on January 6th was an effort to prevent the peaceful transfer of power from one administration to another, which had never happened before in our country," he added.
  • "165 people have pleaded guilty to criminal behavior. None of the trials have been finished yet, but 165 have pleaded guilty to criminal behavior."
  • "My view is, I would not be in favor of shortening any of the sentences for any of the people who pleaded guilty to crimes."

The big picture: As of last month, when the nation marked one year since the events of Jan. 6, the Justice Department had arrested 725 people from all 50 states in connection to the riot.

Go deeper