While the mainstream media mostly ignored the event for fear of being accused of racism for simply having the temerity to cover it, crowds of President Trump’s loyal supporters gathered Saturday night in Conroe, Texas for the first Trump rally of the 2022 mid-term election cycle. Because even if he isn’t on the ballot, Trump is still indisputably the most important figure in Republican politics – even if Democratic prosectors are trying to “put me in jail”, as he (correctly) proclaimed at one point during the event, much to the astonishment of the Twitterati.
The “Save America” rally was the first Trump rally in Texas since he lost the White House, and will be followed by other stops across the South and Midwest.
With every GOP politician in the country eager to seek his endorsement, Trump took the stage late Saturday night and shared some thoughts about his priorities for when he “runs and wins” in 2024.
At one point, Trump said that if he is elected to be America’s 47th president in November 2024, he would strongly consider pardons for the roughly 700 people who have been charged criminally over their role in J6.
“If I run and if I win, we will treat those people from January 6th fairly,” Trump said Saturday night. “And if it requires pardons, we will give them pardons because they are being treated so unfairly.”
Trump also strongly criticized Democratic lawmakers and prosecutors for their response to the riot, and also for the numerous investigations into him which, as the AP reported in roundup of the various probes, have taken on a criminal overtone in recent months.
The probes, which are unfolding in multiple jurisdictions and consider everything from potential fraud and election interference to the role he played in the Jan. 6 insurrection, represent the most serious legal threat Trump has faced in decades of an often litigious public life. They’re intensifying as a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found Trump’s iron grip on the GOP may be starting to loosen.
The former president alluded to the multiple investigations Saturday night, claiming “they want to put me in jail” before calling on supporters to create “the biggest protests we’ve ever had” in Washington DC and other cities if the prosecutors investigating him do “anything illegal”.
“If these radical, vicious, racist prosecutors do anything wrong or illegal, I hope we are going to have in this country the biggest protest we have ever had in Washington DC, in New York, in Atlanta and elsewhere because our country and our elections are corrupt,”
Trump continued, saying that “in reality, they’re not after me, they’re after you. And I just happen to be the person in the way,” he said.
Prosecutors have been “going after my company for years…using every trick in the book.”
“For years, they’ve been going after my company, many years, using every trick in the book in an attempt to literally, if they can, put me in jail. They want to put me in jail,” Trump said at the rally on Saturday.
He also accused prosecutors of being “sick”, “horrible” and “racist”.
“It really is proprietorial misconduct at the highest level. These prosecutors are vicious, horrible people. They’re racists, and they’re very sick. They’re mentally sick. They’re going after me, without any protection of my rights by the Supreme Court or most other courts. In reality. They’re not after me, they’re after you, and I just happen to be the person that’s in the way. That’s what they’re after. It’s been going on for years.”
With an eye toward this weekend’s events, Trump praised the Canadian truckers leading a “Freedom convoy” in protest of Ottawa’s overly restrictive COVID measures. Trump claimed that the truckers were doing more to “defend our freedom” than most Americans.
“The Canadian truckers, you’ve been reading about it, who are resisting bravely these lawless mandates are doing more to defend American freedom than our own leaders by far,”
He added that “we want those great Canadian truckers to know that we are with them all the way.”
Trump touched on a range of other topics, from bashing overly restrictive COVID restrictions to promising he would investigate President Biden and his family should Trump triumph in 2024. For his opener, Trump had Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speak. As for the crowd size, footage appeared to show a vast crowd of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people.
Cars reportedly stretched for miles outside the rally site when gates opened earlier in the day.