The FBI is tracking down and charging anyone who participated in illegal activity during last Wednesday’s violent riots at the U.S. Capitol for their misdemeanor and/or felony crimes.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Michael Sherwin stated that federal officials are planning on prosecuting illegal activity both big and small. “We may have started with misdemeanor charges but we are looking to build significant felony cases tied to sedition and conspiracy,” Sherwin explained. Then, in an address to those who participated in last week’s insurrection, he said: “Regardless of if it was just a trespass in the Capitol or if someone planted a pipe bomb, you will be charged and you will be found.”
Working with the public to identify the thousands of Trump supporters that were present at the Capitol via social media, Sherwin noted that authorities have charged more than 70 cases in the last week. However, Sherwin expects that this number will easily grow into the hundreds as officials currently have more than 170 “subject files” to examine.
In a press conference last Wednesday, Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert J. Contee III said that two pipe bombs were discovered at the Republican National Committee headquarters and the Democratic National Committee headquarters (respectively). He also revealed that “a cooler from a vehicle with a long gun in it that also included molotov cocktails” was discovered on Capitol grounds.
“These were real devices,” Sherwin said on Tuesday. “They had explosive igniters. They had timers.” Fortunately, these bombs were “destroyed and disabled,” and now officials are looking for “those persons who planted those devices.”
Authorities are presently investigating acts of trespassing, theft of mail, theft of potential national security information, assault against police officers, felony murder, civil rights excessive force, sedition, conspiracy, and more.
Steven D’Antuono, Assistant Direction of the FBI Washington Field Office, released a statement on Tuesday assuring the public that this investigation is “a 24/7, full-bore, extensive operation into what happened [Wednesday].”
“I want to stress that the FBI has a long memory and a broad reach. Agents and our partners are on the streets investigating leads not only here in the D.C. area, but also across the country through the FBI’s 56 field offices,” D’Antuono said. “So even if you’ve left D.C., agents from our local offices will be knocking on your door if we find out that you were part of criminal activity at the Capitol.”