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Turner on Trump calling Jan. 6 rioters ‘hostages’: ‘I don’t believe they’re hostages. I believe in our judicial system’

Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) said he disagreed with former President Trump’s characterization of the Jan. 6, 2021, rioters at the Capitol, saying that he believes in the U.S. judicial system.

I don’t believe they’re hostages. I believe in our judicial system, and I believe, though, Martha, as you’ve seen because you reported them, some of these cases have been overturned. Some of the — even the legal construct of the basis of a number of these cases have been overturned,” Turner told co-host Martha Raddatz on ABC’s “This Week.”

“This is going to be, you know, a continuing legal process, and … this president obviously has very strong personal views on this,” he added.

Trump said last week that his first act if elected to the White House would be to free the imprisoned Jan. 6 rioters, whom he called “hostages.” He has previously expressed sympathy for those charged in connection to the attacks on the Capitol and has described them as “hostages’ in the past.

“My first acts as your next President will be to Close the Border, DRILL, BABY, DRILL, and Free the January 6 Hostages being wrongfully imprisoned!” Trump wrote on Truth Social last week.

He also spoke at a fundraiser for Jan. 6 defendants last year.

While Turner, the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, would not describe the defendants as hostages, he said that Trump did not call on rioters to attack the Capitol that day.

“Well, as you know, he did not call for the storming of the Capitol, and we have had a number of these cases, that there has been questions concerning how those cases have been prosecuted, and the individuals, where there have been cases even overturned,” he said.

“You would think, of course, that Donald Trump would have very strong emotional feelings about the individuals who have — who’ve been in jail and have gone to prison over these,” he added.

According to the Justice Department, more than 1,358 defendants have been charged in nearly every state in connection to the Jan. 6 attacks on the Capitol. Approximately 497 have been sentenced to periods of incarceration, according to the Justice Department.

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