‘We can cope’, Capitol riot prosecutors say as FBI identifies over 400 suspects

Prosecutors say they will not be overwhelmed by the number of cases being pursued over the US Capitol riots – despite the FBI identifying more than 400 suspects.

More than 150 people have so far been charged after Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol on 6 January, leaving five people dead.

Investigators are also continuing to look at whether there was a coordinated effort to launch an attack on the Capitol in Washington, DC.

Donald Trump's supporters launched the attack on 6 January
Image:Donald Trump’s supporters launched the attack on 6 January

The FBI said it has received more than 200,000 tip-offs, with people who were part of the riots being warned by prosecutors that “if a crime was committed, we are charging you”.

The charges so far include assault on law enforcement offices, theft, damage to government property and unauthorised access.

US attorney Michael Sherwin, the top prosecutor on the case, said the judges and the FBI would have enough resources to deal with opening such a large number of cases, reported NBC News.

He said: “Regardless of the level of the criminal conduct, we’re not selectively targeting or just trying to charge the most significant crime.

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“If a crime was committed we are charging you, whether you were outside or inside the Capitol.”

Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump face off with police during a "Stop the Steal" protest outside of the Capitol building in Washington D.C. U.S. January 6, 2021. Picture taken January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith
Image:The trouble flared following a nearby rally held by then-president Donald Trump

He added: “We are going to reach a plateau in the very near future and it will involve looking at the more complicated conspiracy cases.”

Mr Sherwin said the authorities were still investigating the death of a police officer and the origin of pipe bombs which did not explode, but were found near the Capitol building.

The storming of the building was an attempt to prevent the formal certification of Joe Biden’s election victory and followed a rally near the White House led by the then-president Mr Trump.

Storming the Capitol: How four hours of mayhem unfolded

Storming the Capitol: How four hours of mayhem unfolded

The former American leader was subsequently impeached by the House on a charge of incitement of insurrection. A trial in the Senate is scheduled to begin during the week of 8 February.

Mr Trump is the only US president to be impeached twice. He was first impeached by the House of Representatives in December 2019 over his dealings with Ukraine, and subsequently cleared.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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