“The folks that were part of the riots and, frankly, the assault on the US Capitol, have to be held accountable. There is a rule of law,” Sununu told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union.”
“I don’t care whether you were part of burning cities in Antifa in 2020 or storming the Capitol in 2021, everybody needs to be held fairly accountable across,” he added, appearing to refer to violence tied to racial justice protests in 2020.
“They shouldn’t be pardoned?” Bash asked, referring to the Capitol rioters.
“Of course not. Oh my goodness, no,” the governor said.
During a campaign-style rally in Texas on Saturday, Trump complained about the criminal prosecutions that Capitol rioters have faced as a result of their attempt to interrupt the counting of Electoral College votes after he lost the 2020 election and suggested he might pardon them if he runs for president again and wins.
The comments also drew criticism on Sunday from Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, a moderate Republican who was one of seven GOP senators who voted to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial for his role in inciting the insurrection.
“I do not think the president should have made — President Trump should have made that pledge to do pardons,” she told ABC News. “We should let the judicial process proceed. January 6 was a dark day in our history.”
The Department of Justice has charged more than 700 people in connection with the attack on the Capitol.
Trump says Jan. 6 rioters are treated unfairly
During the Saturday rally, Trump called the prosecutions and prison sentences rioters have faced “a disgrace,” and said: “If I run and if I win, we will treat those people from January 6 fairly.”
“And if it requires pardons, we will give them pardons. Because they are being treated so unfairly,” the former president said.
Trump ally and South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham called the comments “inappropriate” and said people who were convicted on crimes related to the Capitol riot deserve to “get the book thrown at them.”
“I don’t want to reinforce that defiling the Capitol was okay. I don’t want to do anything that would make this more likely in the future,” Graham said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “I want to deter people who did what — on January the 6th, and those who did it, I hope they go to jail and get the book thrown at them because they deserve it.”
Some of Trump’s allies in Congress have pleaded for pardons for convicted rioters. And Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a potential 2024 Republican presidential contender, recently called one-year commemorations of the Capitol riot an effort to “smear” Trump’s supporters.