Federal prosecutors are eyeing charges against more than 1,000 individuals who may have participated in the January 6th, 2021 riots at the Capitol building.
The United States Attorney in Washington sent a letter this week to the chief justice for DC’s federal court system stating that prosecutors overseen by US Attorney General Merrick Garland may bring between 700 and 1,200 new individuals into the justice system, according to Bloomberg News. The staggering figure represents approximately a doubling of prosecutions sought in connection with the event where supporters of President Donald Trump entered the Capitol in an attempt to disrupt proceedings certifying President Joe Biden as winner of the 2020 election.
In the letter, US Attorney Matthew Graves writes that the Department of Justice expects to bring the additional cases forward in the coming months, saying it was “incredibly difficult” to predict future cases given the “nature and the complexity of the investigation.” A spokesperson for DOJ would not comment beyond official filings.
More than 1,000 individuals have been charged to date in an investigation spanning two years and the global Covid pandemic which saw federal court systems buckle under a deluge of cases. To date, 500 of those charged have pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and disrupting official proceedings in a government building. The average sentence for those convicted has been around 18 months. Crowd estimates have pegged attendance on J6 at between 2,000 and 5,000 persons.
The events of J6 have reverberated since and involved a bipartisan select committee that faced pushback from Republican lawmakers who claimed its investigation was far from impartial. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy took office earlier this year and fulfilled a promise to release 44,000 hours of J6 surveillance footage to the public in an attempt to portray video shared by the select committee as biased. Fox News host Tucker Carlson has devoted significant air time to the newly released footage and raised questions about whether rioters were guided through the Capitol building by police officers. Democrats have sharply criticized the conclusions reached by Carlson.