FBI Says Hundreds More Will Be Charged Over Riots

Brenda Watkins
January 14, 2021

"The scope and scale of this are unprecedented, not only in Federal Bureau of Investigation history but probably DOJ history", Sherwin said during the event. The FBI has opened more than 160 case files; prosecutors charged more than 70, and both numbers will grow "geometrically", authorities told reporters on Tuesday.

The US Justice Department has opened criminal investigations of more than 170 individuals for their alleged involvement in last week's riot at the Capitol by President Donald Trump's supporters, and investigators are working toward charging people with assault and seditious conspiracy, senior Justice Department officials revealed Tuesday.

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"We're looking at significant felony cases tied to sedition and conspiracy", he said, noting his office has launched a strike force whose marching orders are to build criminal cases around such charges.

Steven D'Antuono, from the FBI's Washington DC field office, spent some time describing the challenge of distinguishing genuine threats from people making empty threats on the internet. But that doesn't make them safe from prosecution, Sherwin warned.

"The Capitol grounds outside and inside are. a crime scene", said Sherwin. He added that there were "thousands of potential witnesses" and "hundreds" of cases that could arise as a result.

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"And as mentioned, with this strike-force to focus strictly on sedition charges, we're looking at, in creating this, just like a significant global counterterrorism or counterintelligence operation, we're looking at everything", Sherwin said.

Sherwin said the "range of criminal conduct" being investigated was "unmatched" and "mind-blowing". "In addition to that we're looking and taking priority with cases in which weapons were involved and cases in which destructive devices were involved".

U.S. political historian and author Michael Beschloss summed up the backlash online, asking: "What do the Acting Attorney General and FBI Director have to do that is more important than appearing at this public briefing on the Capitol attack?" Or did it have some other type of nefarious objective?

"And if you look at what other people have said, politicians at a high level, about the riots during the summer, the disgusting riots in Portland and Seattle and various other places, that was a real problem".

It has now been a week since pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol Building, forcing evacuations, destroying property, stealing items from lawmakers' offices, and causing the deaths of at least five people, including a Capitol Police officer.

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