UPDATED 9:53 AM PT – Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Federal law enforcement officials recently gave an update on their investigation into the breach of the U.S. Capitol. On Tuesday, officials from the FBI and DOJ held a public briefing in which they confirmed they have charged more than 70 people out of more than 160 cases.
The officials claimed the range of alleged criminal violations is vast and covers simple misdemeanors like simple trespassing as well as theft of mail. Additionally, they are looking into felony charges, including murder and theft of potential national security information.
“We have to separate the aspirational from the intentional and determine which of the individuals saying despicable things on the internet are just practicing keyboard bravado or they actually have the intent to do harm,” stated Steven D’Antuono, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office. “As offensive as this statement can be, the FBI cannot open an investigation without a threat of violence or alleged criminal activity.”
Officials said they are making headway with their investigation given it’s been just one week after protesters stormed the Capitol Building last Wednesday. They noted the public is already aware of some of the initial cases, including the two men being charged who were carrying zip-ties.
However, there’s a team of top national security and public corruption prosecutors who are looking into felony sedition and conspiracy charges. If anyone is convicted with these crimes, they could face up to 20-years in prison.
“Just to frame things, the enormity of this investigation is going to take a lot of work and a lot effort,” stated Michael Sherwin, Acting U.S. Attorney for Washington, D.C. “This is going to be a long-term investigation and rest assured the bureau, the Department of Justice, all the U.S. attorneys across the United States that are assisting in these investigations, everyone is in for the long haul.”
#FBI is seeking information to aid in our investigations into violent activity that took place on Jan 6th at the U.S. Capitol. If you have info, please call 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) or report tips to https://t.co/NNj84wkNJP. pic.twitter.com/GNIkaIWuGk
— FBI Washington Field (@FBIWFO) January 12, 2021
Officials also noted the American people are providing immense support by lending more than 100,000 forms of digital media to investigators.
Meanwhile, the FBI is warning similar violent protests could ignite in federal and state capitol buildings across the nation. They expect these events to occur near Inauguration Day.