More than 300 people have been charged after deadly US Capitol riot, Justice Dept. says
WASHINGTON - The Justice Department said more than 300 people have been charged in connection with the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and that more than 280 have been arrested.
Acting Deputy Attorney General John Carlin, who said he gets updates daily about the investigation, said those were the numbers as of Friday.
"Just this week, I had an opportunity to spend more than an hour with members of the prosecution team," he said. "They are committed, they are determined, and they will keep us safe from the threat of violent extremism."
Charges for the rioters range from misdemeanor curfew violations to felonies related to assaults on police officers, possessing illegal weapons and making death threats against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
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On Jan. 6, hundreds of rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying the electoral votes
to officialize President Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 election. Many rioters marched to Capitol Hill after attending a rally held by former president Donald Trump, who insisted the 2020 election was stolen from him based on unfounded claims of voter fraud and irregularities.
Five people died, including a Capitol Police officer and a woman shot by police.
Federal investigators probing the death of U.S. Capitol Police Brian Sicknick have zeroed in on a suspect seen on video appearing to spray a chemical substance on the officer before he later collapsed and died, two people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press.
Senators acquitted Trump of inciting the riot after failing to reach the needed two-third threshold of votes to convict him. Before the trial, House members voted to impeach him on the charge of inciting insurrection.
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Voting to find Trump guilty were GOP Sens. Richard Burr of North Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania.
Even after voting to acquit, the Republican leader Mitch McConnell condemned the former president as "practically and morally responsible" for the insurrection. McConnell contended Trump could not be convicted because he was gone from the White House.
Merrick Garland, President Joe Biden's attorney general, vowed to prioritize combating extremist violence with an initial focus on the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol as he sought to assure lawmakers that the Justice Department would remain politically independent on his watch.
He promised to provide prosecutors with whatever resources they need to bring charges over the attack.
"I will supervise the prosecution of white supremacists and others who stormed the Capitol on January 6 — a heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy: the peaceful transfer of power to a newly elected government," Garland said in his opening statement at his confirmation hearing.
The Associated Press contributed to this story. This story was reported from Los Angeles.