The FBI and U.S. Attorney in Washington D.C. say that hundreds of people will likely be charged in connection with the seige on Capitol Hill. Today FBI assistant director Steven D’Antuono and acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin briefed the media. It’s the first news conference from a law enforcement agency since the siege on January 6th. The men said 170 cases are already open, with 70 suspects charged, and the Justice Department expects that number will grow into the hundreds. D’Antuono had this warning, “Even if you’ve left DC, agents from our local field offices will be knocking on your door if we found out that you were part of the criminal activity at the Capitol.” The AP writes:
The early misdemeanor charges against at least some of the rioters are effectively placeholder counts, but more serious counts — including sedition and conspiracy — are expected in violence that resulted in the deaths of five people, including a Capitol Police officer.
JUST IN: Acting U.S. Attorney on charges against members of pro-Trump mob who stormed U.S. Capitol: "We're looking at significant felony cases tied to sedition and conspiracy… that have felonies with prison terms of up to 20 years." https://t.co/KglBhqp2ye pic.twitter.com/6qISc2LKGS
— ABC News (@ABC) January 12, 2021
Sherwin pointed out that those who were captured in images on social media are just the beginning:
“What the public isn’t familiar with is that the FBI working with the U.S. attorneys offices across the country and the crux being in D.C. We’re looking at significant felony cases tied to sedition and conspiracy. Just yesterday our office organized a strike force of very senior national security prosecutors and public corruption prosecutors. Their only marching orders from me are to build seditious and conspiracy charges related to the most heinous acts that occurred in the Capitol and these are significant charges that have felonies with prison terms of up to 20 years. In addition to that we’re looking and taking a priority with cases in which weapons were involved and cases in which destructive devices were involved. As people know through news reports there were pipe bombs found outside the capitol. ATF is working on that, Metro Police, FBI working on that to find that individual or individuals who planted those devices.”
He added that whoever planted a pipe bomb will be charged and that Justice has a unit focusing on assaults against police officers and members of the media.
BREAKING: "We're looking at and treating this just like a significant international counterterrorism or counterintelligence operation," US attorney in DC Sherwin says.
"We're looking at everything: Money, travel records, looking at disposition, movement, communication records." pic.twitter.com/pnIsgEHny1
— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 12, 2021
Watch more above.