Rioters at Capitol Face Long-Term Prosecutions As Police in Washington Pledge to Pursue Them

January 8, 2021 by Tom Ramstack
Police hold off Trump supporters who tried to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

WASHINGTON — Washington’s mayor and the FBI are pledging to track down and prosecute any protesters who broke the law during the riot at the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday.

They are posting photos and videos from the mob violence on Internet sites while asking members of the public to help identify them.

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser, who called in the National Guard to assist police during the breach of the Capitol, said she is reviewing options “both to hold people accountable and to ensure it never happens again.”

The violence was prompted by what is normally a routine procedure in Congress to certify Electoral College votes showing Joe Biden won the November presidential election. President Donald Trump and his supporters insist the election was corrupted by voter fraud and should be overturned by Congress.

Congress adjourned for a few hours during the rioting but returned to certify that Biden won the election.

By then, vandals who support Trump had ransacked the Capitol. One protester was shot and killed by a police officer. A curfew extended over the District of Columbia and its Virginia suburbs.

Bowser put some of the blame on Trump.

“We know that the current president must be held accountable for this unprecedented attack on our democracy,” she said.

Metropolitan Police Chief Robert J. Contee implied the arrests and prosecutions are likely to continue for a lengthy period of time.

“We still have a significant amount of work ahead of us” to find the persons who broke into the Capitol, fought with police and vandalized the building, Contee said.

Only one of the 68 people arrested during or after the riot was from the District of Columbia, Contee said. The others would need to be found in many other parts of the United States.

In addition, 56 Washington, D.C., police officers were injured.

Regardless of difficulties, Contee said he plans “to pursue those responsible for these shameful and dangerous acts.”

The FBI and Justice Department attorneys issued statements of support for efforts to find anyone who broke the law during the riot.

The FBI set up a tip line for members of the public to identify protesters who breached the Capitol.

FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement, “As we’ve said consistently, we do not tolerate violent agitators and extremists who use the guise of First Amendment-protected activity to incite violence and wreak havoc. Such behavior betrays the values of our democracy. Make no mistake: With our partners, we will hold accountable those who participated in yesterday’s siege of the Capitol.”

Merrick Garland, President-elect Joe Biden’s choice as U.S. Attorney General, referred to the riot when he said Thursday at a press conference, “The rule of law is not just some lawyer’s turn of phrase. It is the very foundation of democracy.”

Opinions among some passersby in front of the Capitol Thursday echoed comments by police.

Roman Istomin, 32, a software engineer from Washington, D.C., said police were too lenient on the “rioters.”

“That was no way to deal with them,” Istomin said. “Now they should be prosecuted.”

Chris Smith, 31, a New York City construction industry worker, agreed police should pursue any protesters who broke the law.

“They were fascists,” he said. “Nobody can doubt that.”

Jayme Staten, a 28-year-old clothing boutique owner from Deckerville, Mich., counted herself among protesters at the Capitol but said she did not enter the building or endorse the violence.

“I believe anybody that was caught looting, vandalizing or breaking things should be charged,” she said.

In The News

Health

Voting

Law Enforcement

Trump Inaugural Committee Head Accused of Being UAE Agent
Law
Trump Inaugural Committee Head Accused of Being UAE Agent

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The chair of former President Donald Trump's 2017 inaugural committee was arrested Tuesday on charges alleging he secretly conspired to influence U.S. policy to benefit the United Arab Emirates, even while he was seeking a position as an American diplomat. Tom Barrack,... Read More

New Chief Selected for Capitol Police after Jan. 6 Insurrection
Law Enforcement
New Chief Selected for Capitol Police after Jan. 6 Insurrection

WASHINGTON (AP) — A police official who has run large departments in Maryland and Virginia has been selected as chief of the U.S. Capitol Police in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 insurrection, in which pro-Trump rioters stormed the building in a violent rage, disrupting the... Read More

Trump Organization CFO Surrenders Ahead of Expected Charges
Law
Trump Organization CFO Surrenders Ahead of Expected Charges

The Trump Organization's longtime chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, surrendered to authorities early Thursday ahead of an expected court appearance on the first criminal indictment in a two-year investigation into business practices at Donald Trump's company. Weisselberg was photographed walking into the the complex that houses... Read More

Congress Told FBI Often Violates Privacy With Poorly Monitored Internet Warrants
Law Enforcement
Congress Told FBI Often Violates Privacy With Poorly Monitored Internet Warrants
June 30, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Free press advocates told Congress Wednesday that the Justice Department is out of control in secretly seeking Internet-based information about its political adversaries. Comments from lawmakers during a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee indicated the FBI and other Justice Department agencies are close... Read More

Microsoft Exec: Targeting of Americans' Records 'Routine'
Law Enforcement
Microsoft Exec: Targeting of Americans' Records 'Routine'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal law enforcement agencies secretly seek the data of Microsoft customers thousands of times a year, according to congressional testimony being given Wednesday by a senior executive at the technology company. Tom Burt, Microsoft's corporate vice president for customer security and trust, will... Read More

Georgia Gov. Rips DOJ Lawsuit as ‘Politically Motivated Assault’
Political News
Georgia Gov. Rips DOJ Lawsuit as ‘Politically Motivated Assault’
June 27, 2021
by Dan McCue

SAVANNAH -- Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp wasted no time on Friday responding to word the Justice Department is suing the state over a newly implemented voting law that critics believe restricts Black voter access to the polls. At a hastily called press conference during a visit... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top