Sen. Lindsey Graham: Pardoning US Capitol Rioters Would ‘Destroy’ Trump

January 17, 2021 Updated: January 17, 2021

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) remarked that it would be unwise for President Donald Trump to pardon individuals who breached the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

“I don’t care if you went and spread flowers on the floor, you breached the security of the Capitol, interrupted a joint session of Congress, you tried to intimidate, assault, you should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and to seek a pardon of these people would be wrong, I think it would destroy President Trump, and I hope we don’t go down that road,” Graham told Fox News.

“President Trump never said go into the Capitol and try to interrupt a joint session of Congress,” Graham said. “That was the choice they made and they need to live with that choice.”

On Jan. 6, Trump issued remarks to a group of protesters as both chambers of Congress counted the electoral votes. A much smaller group then broke into the Capitol building, although Trump several times called for no violence. Later, Trump called on the rioters to leave “in peace,” and last week, he said that demonstrators who plan on protesting during Inauguration Day to not commit any acts of violence.

House Democrats and about 10 Republicans impeached Trump over the incident on Jan. 6.

So far, more than 100 people have been arrested by federal agents due to the breach.

Virginia National Guard soldiers march across the east from of the U.S. Capitol on their way to their guard posts in Washington on Jan. 16, 2021. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

The U.S. Army has increased security around Jan. 20’s events, deploying National Guards members to all 50 state capitols. More than 25,000 Guard members have been sent to Washington D.C., an increase of about 5,000 over previous estimates.

“Our National Guard soldiers and airmen are set around the city to protect our nation’s Capital,” National Guard Bureau Chief Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson said in a statement last week.

“In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking, and NO vandalism of any kind,” Trump stated on Jan. 13. “That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers. Thank You.”

The National Park Service has closed the Washington Monument to tours and Mayor Muriel Bowser has asked visitors to avoid the city. Other areas in D.C. have also been closed, while video footage and photos have shown significant fencing and barriers around the Capitol area.