RFK Jr Vows Special Counsel To Probe ‘Harsh Treatment’ Of Jan 6 Defendants

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. vowed to appoint a special counsel to investigate the “harsh treatment” of Jan 6 defendants. 

The comment capped a rollercoaster couple of days for Kennedy communications about Jan. 6 prosecutions. A campaign fundraising email sent Thursday said the defendants had been “stripped of their constitutional liberties.” Four hours later, his campaign press secretary scrambled to say the characterization “[did] not reflect Mr. Kennedy’s views,” and said it was the work of a marketing firm that has now been fired by the campaign. 

Robert F. Kennedy Jr with his running mate, Nicole Shanahan 

On Friday, however, Kennedy issued a statement reaffirming his alarm about how the Department of Justice has proceeded against Jan 6 participants. “I am concerned about the possibility that political objectives motivated the vigor of the prosecution of the J6 defendants, their long sentences and their harsh treatment,” wrote Kennedy. 

Kennedy said that, if he is elected, he will appoint a special prosecutor to investigate whether powers were abused for political advantage, and to “right any wrongs” that are found. He also gingerly questioned the notion that Jan. 6 represented an “insurrection,” a term embraced by many mainstream media outlets, including the Washington Post

“I have not examined the evidence in detail, but reasonable people, including Trump opponents, tell me there is little evidence of a true insurrection. They observe that the protestors carried no weapons, had no plans or ability to seize the reins of government, and that Trump himself had urged them to protest ‘peacefully.'”

His questioning of the official Jan 6 narrative isn’t new. In March of 2023, he said his then-fellow Democrats had “an obsession” with the event. In October, he pointedly ridiculed the idea that the protesters and rioters were in any position to take over the government: “What’s the worst thing that could happen? Right? I mean, we have an entire military, Pentagon, a few blocks away.” 

More than 1,300 people have been charged with crimes associated with the crowd’s intrusion into the Capitol on Jan. 6. Nearly 500 have been hit with felony charges. In January, former US Attorney General Bill Barr said the DOJ was going off the deep end. “I think they cast their net far too broadly and have been hounding people that really, you know, just walked into open doors in the Capitol and hung around,” he told Fox News.

On Friday, Kennedy — currently racking up the support of 10.5% of voters in the RealClearPolitics average — emphasized that he opposes Trump “and all he stands for,” yet is “disturbed by the weaponization of government against him.” 

Leftist heads exploded on Monday after Kennedy told CNN’s Erin Burnett, “I can make the argument that President Biden is the much worse threat to democracy, and the reason for that is President Biden is the first candidate in history — the first president in history — that has used the federal agencies to censor political speech, so to censor his opponent” by pressuring social media platforms to ban him. 

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