“The people who were part of the riots and frankly the attack on the American capital must be held accountable. There is a rule of law,” Sununu told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union.”
“I do not care if you were part of burning cities in Antifa in 2020 or stormed the Capitol in 2021, everyone should be held fairly accountable across the board,” he added, referring to violence linked to protests against racial justice in 2020.
“Shall they not be pardoned?” asked Bash, referring to the Capitol troublemakers.
“Of course not. Oh my god, no,” said the governor.
The comments also drew criticism on Sunday from Senator Susan Collins of Maine, a moderate Republican who was one of seven GOP senators who voted to convict Trump in his second state court trial for his role in inciting the uprising.
“I do not think the president should have given – President Trump should have given the promise to grant pardon,” she told ABC News. “We should let the trial continue. January 6 was a dark day in our history.”
Trump says January 6 rioters are being treated unfairly
During Saturday’s meeting, Trump called the indictments and prison sentences the riots have faced “a disgrace” and said, “If I stand up and if I win, we will treat these people fairly from January 6.”
“And if it requires pardon, we will give them pardon. Because they are treated so unfairly,” the former president said.
Trump ally and South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham called the comments “inappropriate” and said people convicted of crimes related to the Capitol riot deserve to “have the book thrown at them.”
“I do not want to emphasize that it was okay to contaminate the Capitol. I do not want to do anything that would make this more likely in the future,” Graham said on CBS ‘”Face the Nation.” “I want to discourage people who did what – on January 6, and those who did, I hope they get in jail and get the book thrown at them because they deserve it.”
Some of Trump’s allies in Congress have called for the pardon of convicted troublemakers. And Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2024, recently called one-year commemorations of the Capitol riot an attempt to “blacken” Trump supporters.
CNN’s Aaron Pellish and Eric Bradner contributed to this report.