Federal officials sent a strong, if delayed, message to the public on Tuesday about the Trump-inspired attack on the U.S. Capitol, announcing that hundreds of cases would be brought against the insurrectionists, part of a violent mob that killed a policeman.
Michael Sherwin, acting U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, said at a press briefing that the U.S. Capitol was essentially a crime scene and that the FBI was working around the clock to hunt down the hundreds, if not thousands, of Trump supporters who committed crimes and were allowed to leave the building.
“The scope and scale of this are unprecedented, not only in FBI history but probably DOJ history,” Sherwin said.
Sherwin said that more than 170 subject file cases had already been opened and that the number of charges was going to “geometrically increase.”
“The range of criminal conduct is really ... unmatched in any type of scenario that we’ve seen at the FBI or DOJ,” Sherwin said. “We’re looking at everything from simple trespass, to theft of mail, to theft of digital devices inside the Capitol, to assault on local officer, federal officers both outside and inside the Capitol, to the theft of potential national security information, to felony murder. Just the gamut of cases and criminal conduct we’re looking at is really mind-blowing.”
Steven D’Antuono of the FBI’s Washington Field Office encouraged anyone who had participated in the Capitol riot to come forward and volunteer information about their participation, as he said others had done.
“Even if you left D.C., agents for our local field offices will be knocking on your door if we find out that you were part of the criminal activity at the Capitol,” he said.