Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy has vowed that he will pardon all peaceful January 6 protesters if he gets elected as the next US president in 2024.
The 38-year-old Indian American entrepreneur has gained traction after he denounced the US Justice Department for its "political persecution" of non-violent protesters at the Republican primary presidential debate last month.
“America now has a two-tiered justice system: Antifa and BLM rioters roam free while peaceful January 6 protesters are imprisoned without bail. Biden’s ‘Department of Injustice’ has executed over 1,000 arrests for nonviolent offenses related to January 6, casting a dark shadow over Lady Justice and the foundational principles of our legal system,” he said in a statement.
“To unify this country, I commit as president to pardon all Americans who were targets of politicised federal prosecutions and those denied due process. This includes all peaceful, nonviolent January 6 protesters who were denied their constitutional due process rights," he said on Wednesday.
The January 6 riot saw more than 2,000 people enter the US Capitol as lawmakers certified the results of the 2020 election, in which President Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump.
The mob stormed the Capitol following a speech from Trump, who was speaking at a rally not far from the Capitol grounds. In his speech, Trump claimed election fraud and called on then-Vice-President Mike Pence to overturn the results.
The riot led to the biggest police investigation in US history with hundreds of people accused of criminal offences.
Ramaswamy said he will end the weaponisation of police power in America and noted that every Republican candidate must be clear on hard issues.
He said on Sunday that while he expects to become the party's nominee for the November 2024 US elections, he will vote for Trump if the former president secures the nomination.
He also expressed his intention to pardon Trump, who currently faces an array of legal challenges, should he be elected as President of the United States.
“If Donald Trump's the nominee -- yes, I will support him, and if I'm the president, yes, I will pardon him because that will help reunite the country. But it's not the most important thing I'm going to do as the next president. It is the table stakes for moving this country forward,” Ramaswamy told ABC news.
Following his impressive performance in the inaugural Republican primary presidential debate last month, Ramaswamy, an entrepreneur-turned-politician, has experienced a surge in popularity, competing alongside fellow Indian American rival Nikki Haley, the former Governor of South Carolina.
Meanwhile, several media outlets reported that Ramaswamy escaped unhurt when a sign reading “Truth” fell on him during a campaign event in New Hampshire over the weekend.
An opinion poll shared by the Trump Campaign showed that Ramaswamy (with 15 per cent) is now a distant second after former president Trump (68 per cent). Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is now at 13 per cent and at the third position.
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