US officers say 70 charged in Capitol riot ‘only the start’ | Crime Information
More than 170 investigative files have been opened in connection with the Capitol Hill uprising in support of President Donald Trump that killed five people last week, United States police officials said Tuesday.
To date, more than 70 charges have been filed, ranging from misdemeanors to gun crimes, the FBI’s assistant director in charge of the Washington Field Office, Steven D’Antuono, told reporters during a news conference Tuesday afternoon .
“We received more than 100,000 digital media. We search everyone for investigation and intelligence leads, ”said D’Antuono.
A pro-Trump mob broke through the Capitol on Jan. 6 when a joint congressional session met to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Five people, including a Washington, DC police officer, died in the incident.
A protester sits in a truck with a video screen near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC on January 11, 2021 [Jonathan Ernst/Reuters]Trump faced widespread calls to step down for inciting his supporters in a pre-Capitol break-in speech. However, on Tuesday he remained defiant, evading responsibility for what had happened and rejecting a Democratic push to indict him.
He said there was “tremendous anger” over the impeachment efforts of Congress, which could take place as early as Wednesday, calling it a “continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics”.
Since the uprising, the social media giants Twitter and Facebook have permanently blocked Trump’s accounts on their platforms in order to stop further incitement.
Acting US attorney for the District of Columbia, Michael Sherwin, who is working with the FBI to arrest and indict alleged rioters, said at the press conference that the 70 charges so far were “just the beginning”.
“That number will grow into the hundreds,” said Sherwin.
He added that a task force is investigating possible conspiracy and hate speech charges in addition to those already filed.
“Given the size of the actors we’ve seen, the range of criminal behavior is unmatched,” he said.
A supporter of US President Donald Trump sits at the desk of the Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi after Trump supporters violated the US Capitol [Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA]Mike Hanna of Al Jazeera, who reported from Washington DC, said the FBI had called his investigation “absolutely unprecedented.”
“The FBI and the Department of Justice [are] Treating the Capitol as a crime scene both on the premises and inside, ”Hanna reported, adding that the investigation would likely take months – if not longer.
D’Antuono said the FBI will continue to work with local law enforcement and the office’s field workers in the U.S. to arrest suspects.
“Even after you’ve left DC, agents from our local field offices will knock on your door,” he said.
Meanwhile, the joint US military chiefs of staff said in a joint message on Tuesday that the uprising was “a direct attack” on the US Congress, Capitol and the country’s constitutional process, Reuters reported.
In an internal memo to the troops, the seven generals and an admiral said the U.S. military remains committed to protecting and defending the constitution and that Biden will be inaugurated on Jan. 20.
“The rights to freedom of expression and assembly do not give anyone the right to resort to violence, riot and insurrection,” the memo seen by Reuters reads.
“Any act that disrupts the constitutional process not only violates our traditions, values and our oath. it’s against the law. “
The FBI warned on Monday of possible armed protests in all 50 states and the US capital in the days leading up to Biden’s inauguration. Trump approved a declaration of emergency for Washington, DC in response to the situation.