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GOP governor says Trump shouldn't pardon Jan. 6 rioters if he wins a 2nd term

Former President Donald Trump should not pardon people charged for their participation in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot if he wins a second term, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) said in a Sunday appearance on CNN's State of the Union.

"Look, folks that were part of the riots and, frankly, the assault on the U.S. Capitol have to be held accountable," Sununu said.

"There's a rule of law," he continued. "I don't care whether you were part of burning cities in antifa in 2020 [or] you were storming the Capitol in 2021. Everybody needs to be held fairly accountable. … That's part of leadership."

"Then they shouldn't be pardoned?" host Dana Bash asked.

"Of course not!" Sununu responded. "Oh my goodness, no."

During a rally in Texas on Saturday, Trump said that if he wins a second term, he plans to pardon those charged for their actions during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. "If I run, and if I win, we will treat those people from Jan. 6 fairly," Trump said. "And if it requires pardons, we will give them pardons, because they are being treated so unfairly," he added.

Trump called the prosecutors who have charged more than 700 rioters with crimes "horrible people," "racists," and "mentally sick."  

Journalist Matthew Yglesias tweeted in response to Trump's comments that "the fact that *all* crimes committed in the District of Columbia are federal crimes eligible for presidential pardon creates a terrifyingly vast loophole in the constitutional system."