RFK Jr. campaign labels Jan. 6 defendants as ‘activists’ who have had their rights revoked

The Capitol Riot and the Call to Free Assange

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy’s campaign recently sparked controversy by likening those charged in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot to activists stripped of their Constitutional liberties in a Washington DC jail cell.

Controversial Email Campaign

Kennedy’s campaign stirred the pot further by urging supporters to sign a petition advocating for the release of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The comparison made in the email between the jailed Capitol rioters and Assange, along with Edward Snowden, raised eyebrows and ignited debate.

An Error or Political Strategy?

While the campaign later distanced Kennedy from the email’s wording, blaming the misstep on a terminated contractor, the candidate himself has previously expressed sentiments indicating a more forgiving stance towards the rioters.

Kennedy’s Pledge to Pardon Assange

Kennedy’s anti-vaccine activism intertwined with a promise to pardon Assange if elected president, highlighting his stance against government censorship and advocating for free-speech protections.

The Context of Assange’s Extradition

The email also referenced the British court’s decision to delay Assange’s extradition to the U.S. until certain conditions, such as assurances against the death penalty, are met. Kennedy’s campaign underscored the need to protect whistleblowers like Assange and Snowden.

The Political Landscape Post-Jan 6

Despite the uproar, Kennedy has largely avoided directly discussing the Capitol attack in his speeches or social media posts. He did, however, share his views with Politico, questioning the government’s censorship policies against the backdrop of Jan. 6.

Kennedy’s Presidential Bid and Policy Stances

Transitioning from a Democrat to an independent candidate, Kennedy has intensified his criticism towards President Biden, positioning himself as an alternative option in what could be a Biden-Trump rematch. His ambiguity towards accepting election results and willingness to consider pardons for rioters have added layers to his campaign.

The Aftermath of the Capitol Riot

Three years after the Capitol attack, a small fraction of the individuals charged are in the D.C. jail, with most facing charges related to assaulting police officers. Allegations of mistreatment and claims of being punished for beliefs have been refuted by the judiciary, emphasizing the severity and violence of the riot.

The Public Perception and Political Divides

A Post-University of Maryland poll revealed that a majority of Americans view the Capitol riot as an attack on democracy. However, Republicans exhibit a more favorable outlook towards the rioters, creating a stark divide among political affiliations.

Read More of this Story at www.washingtonpost.com – 2024-04-05 00:50:00

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