The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Trump takes support for Jan. 6 rioters to new level, collaborates on a song

Former president Donald Trump speaks at the East Palestine Fire Department as he visits the area in the aftermath of the Feb. 3 Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, on Feb. 22, 2023. (Matt Freed/AP)
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It’s no secret that Donald Trump has consistently sided with those in the mob that overran the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in an attempt to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral win. The former president resisted hours of pleas to stop the rioters on the day of the attack, eventually told them they were loved and “very special,” and has since vowed to issue pardons to Jan. 6 defendants if he is reelected.

This week, Trump took his support for those who stormed the Capitol to another level, collaborating on a new song with a group of inmates imprisoned in Washington on charges related to the Jan. 6 attack.

Trump and the prisoners — dubbed the “J6 Prison Choir” — released “Justice for All” on Thursday, a roughly 2 1/2-minute track that features the former president reciting the Pledge of Allegiance cut with the inmates singing the national anthem.

The track ends with the prisoners chanting “USA! USA! USA!” in the same cadence that rioters chanted “Hang Mike Pence!” on the day of the insurrection. As a result of the deadly siege, five people died and more than 100 law enforcement officers were injured.

As of Friday, the track was available on Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube, where comments for the video were turned off.

Trump recorded his portion at Mar-a-Lago last month, while the inmates recorded themselves singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” over a jailhouse phone, according to Forbes, which first reported the news. The project is intended to raise funds for families of those imprisoned on Jan. 6-related charges, Forbes reported.

A representative for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.

Trump, who announced his reelection campaign in November, has vowed that he would issue full pardons and a government apology to Jan. 6 rioters. He also claimed on a conservative radio show in the fall that he was financially supporting some of the Jan. 6 defendants, though his representatives did not respond to a request seeking to clarify how.

“I am financially supporting people that are incredible and they were in my office actually two days ago, so they’re very much in my mind,” Trump told conservative radio host Wendy Bell in September. “It’s a disgrace what they’ve done to them. What they’ve done to these people is disgraceful.”

The House select committee that investigated the insurrection focused much of its efforts on linking Trump’s actions and baseless claims of widespread election fraud with the subsequent violence at the Capitol.

For instance, one of his tweets on Dec. 19, 2020 — “Statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 Election. Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!” — was later cited by far-right militant groups as an invitation to travel to Washington to overturn the election results.

The House impeached Trump in 2021 for inciting an insurrection, but the Senate acquitted him. Trump and many of his supporters have since downplayed the severity of the attack. Hard-right members of Congress, including Reps. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.), Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), have rallied behind imprisoned Jan. 6 rioters, attempting to visit them in D.C. jail and demanding better treatment for the inmates.

Mariana Alfaro contributed to this report.