Fact Check: White House Pardons Office Is NOT Offering Pardons To 'Patriots' Involved In Capitol Insurrection

Fact Check

  • by: Alan Duke
Fact Check: White House Pardons Office Is NOT Offering Pardons To 'Patriots' Involved In Capitol Insurrection DOJ Debunked

Is the White House pardons office soliciting Trump supporters involved in the January 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection to apply for presidential pardons? No, that's not true: Parler posts posing as being from White House pardons attorneys were fake, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The pardons office "does not have a social media presence and is not involved in any efforts to pardon individuals or groups involved with the heinous acts that took place this week in and around the U.S. Capitol," the DOJ said in a news release.

The claim originated appeared in several versions of Parler posts, including a parley (archived here) posted by an account named @PARDONWH on January 9, 2021. It read:

ATTN PATRIOTS:

Donald Trump is Considering Pardoning the PATRIOTS at the PEACEFUL PROTESTS at the Capitol on 1/6/21

To recieve a pardon, please comment or direct message us:
1. Full Name
2. City of Residence
3. Crime you'd like to be pardoned for
4. A photo of you at the capitol

Please respond QUICK!

This is what social media users saw at the time of writing:

ATTN PATRIOTS: Donald Trump is Considering Pardoning the PATRIOTS at the PEACEFUL PROTESTS at the Capitol on 1/6/21 To recieve a pardon, please comment or direct message us: 1. Full Name 2. City of Residence 3. Crime you'd like to be pardoned for 4. A photo of you at the capitol Please respond QUICK!

-- White House Pardon Department PARDONWH Saturday, January 9, 2021

This Instagram post shows a screenshot of another version:

The Department of Justice was quick to notice the social media scam and issued an unusual news release titled Statement on Misinformation on Social Media Regarding the Office of the Pardon Attorney:

A spokesperson for the Department of Justice issued the following statement:

"Please be advised that the information circulating on social media claiming to be from Acting Pardon Attorney Rosalind Sargent-Burns is inauthentic and should not be taken seriously.

"The Justice Department's Office of the Pardon Attorney does not have a social media presence and is not involved in any efforts to pardon individuals or groups involved with the heinous acts that took place this week in and around the U.S. Capitol."

The Justice Department is working hard to round suspects identified in the invasion of the U.S. Capitol building. The death of a Capitol police officer means there is a murder investigation. The DOJ announced a series of arrests in the first days after the insurrection, with news releases titled Three Men Charged in Connection with Events at U.S. Capitol; Alabama Man Charged With Possession of Eleven Molotov Cocktails Found Near Protest at U.S. Capitol; Man Arrested for Illegally Entering Office of Speaker of the House; Thirteen Charged in Federal Court Following Riot at the United States Capitol, Approximately 40 charged in Superior Court.

There has been no indication the President Trump is considering pardoning the participants in his last days in the White House.

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  Alan Duke

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after ending a 26-year career with CNN, where he mainly covered entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosted a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace" and hosted the podcast series "Stan Lee's World: His Real Life Battle with Heroes & Villains." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

Read more about or contact Alan Duke

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