DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, a Republican, isn’t on board with talk from two GOP presidential candidates that they might issue presidential pardons for criminals who took part in the riot to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Former president Donald Trump says that he could pardon some of his supporters convicted of crimes in connection with the January 6th, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol Building. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis suggested that he might also. But Ernst — who was inside the building as rioters were assaulting law enforcement, destroying property and threatening to kill then-vice president Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi — said that convicted rioters deserve punishment.
More than 600 rioters have been convicted, several hundred others charged and others remain who could still face criminal charges.
Ernst told WHO 13, “Those that were there with ill intent. They will be sorted out through the justice system. It’s presidential prerogative (to pardon criminals),” Ernst said, “It was very serious issue. I don’t want people to excuse bad behavior.”
When asked why Trump and DeSantis were talking about the possibility of pardons, “I don’t know that that we should be discussing this when we have very serious issues in front of us.”