The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Trump expresses solidarity with Jan. 6 rioters who stormed the Capitol

Former president Donald Trump, shown here in November announcing another bid for the White House, says people have been treated “very, very unfairly, and we’re going to get to the bottom of it.” (Rebecca Blackwell/AP)

Former president Donald Trump expressed solidarity with the mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, sending a video of support to a fundraising event Thursday night hosted by a group called the Patriot Freedom Project that is supporting families of those being prosecuted by the government.

“People have been treated unconstitutionally, in my opinion, and very, very unfairly, and we’re going to get to the bottom of it,” he said in the video, which appeared to have been shot at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla. “It’s the weaponization of the Department of Justice, and we can’t let this happen in our country.”

Trump, who last month announced a 2024 White House bid, pledged that in coming months, he would take a close look at what he characterized as “a very unfair situation.”

The Patriot Freedom Project advertises itself as “a non-profit organization providing legal, financial, mental-health, and spiritual support for individuals and their families — including young children — who are suffering at the hands of a weaponized justice system.”

Trump repeatedly has made clear that he stands with the mob that stormed the Capitol to stop Congress from counting the electoral votes for Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 presidential election.

In September, Trump said he would issue full pardons and a government apology to the rioters, some of whom violently attacked law enforcement to stop the democratic transfer of power.

“I mean full pardons with an apology to many,” he told conservative radio host Wendy Bell. Such a move would be contingent on whether Trump wins the 2024 presidential election.

The insurrection, the worst attack on the seat of U.S. democracy in more than two centuries, left four people dead, and police officer Brian D. Sicknick, who had been sprayed with a powerful chemical irritant, had two strokes and died the next day. About 140 members of law enforcement were injured as rioters attacked them with flagpoles, baseball bats, stun guns, bear spray and pepper spray.

As a result, the House impeached Trump on a charge of inciting an insurrection. The Senate acquitted him after a trial.

Trump’s comments came the same week that Stewart Rhodes, leader of the far-right Oath Keepers militia, and one of his subordinates were convicted of seditious conspiracy. A jury found them guilty of seeking to keep Trump in power through a months-long plot to unleash political violence and prevent the inauguration of Biden, culminating in the Jan. 6 attack.

The panel of 12 deliberated for three days before finding Rhodes and lead Florida Oath Keeper Kelly Meggs guilty of conspiring to oppose by force the lawful transition of presidential power. But three other associates were not convicted of the historically rare and politically freighted sedition count. All five were convicted of obstructing Congress as it met to count the electoral college vote. Both offenses are punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

To date, more than 800 defendants have been arrested and federally charged from nearly all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The Jan. 6 insurrection

The report: The Jan. 6 committee released its final report, marking the culmination of an 18-month investigation into the violent insurrection. Read The Post’s analysis about the committee’s new findings and conclusions.

The final hearing: The House committee investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol held its final public meeting where members referred four criminal charges against former president Donald Trump and others to the Justice Department. Here’s what the criminal referrals mean.

The riot: On Jan. 6, 2021, a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to stop the certification of the 2020 election results. Five people died on that day or in the immediate aftermath, and 140 police officers were assaulted.

Inside the siege: During the rampage, rioters came perilously close to penetrating the inner sanctums of the building while lawmakers were still there, including former vice president Mike Pence. The Washington Post examined text messages, photos and videos to create a video timeline of what happened on Jan. 6. Here’s what we know about what Trump did on Jan. 6.