Prosecutors act swiftly on defendants’ cases in Capitol attack

New York.– By almost any measure, the criminal investigation into the January 6 attack on the Capitol is a prosecution effort of unparalleled complexity and scope.

For a full year, federal agents in nearly every state have been paying attention to private messages received through numerous reports, interviews of witnesses, public social media posts, and court orders. They have also collected about 14,000 hours of video, media, surveillance cameras and body cameras used by police, enough raw images that it would take 24 hours and a half to see.

While the Justice Department has called the investigation the largest in its history, traditional law enforcement officers have not acted alone. Working with information from online spies, who define themselves as “sedition hunters,” authorities have made more than 700 arrests, with no sign of slowing down.

The government estimates that 2,500 people who participated in the January 6 events could be charged with federal crimes. It includes more than 1,000 incidents that prosecutors believe may have been attacks.

As of this week, more than 225 people have been charged with assaulting or interfering with police that day. About 275 have been charged with what the government describes as a major political offense on January 6: obstructing Congress’s duty to authenticate the 2020 presidential vote count. Just over 300 people have been charged with misdemeanors, most of which are breaking and entering, and disorderly conduct. ,

But a bigger question looms over the lawsuits: Will the Justice Department go beyond just convicting the rioters?

So far, the department has given no public indication that it is working with former President Donald J. To what extent can the case be brought against Trump and his circle of allies, who helped inspire chaos with their unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland is due to address this Wednesday, a day before the anniversary of the Capitol attack, but is not expected to give any indication of the direction of the department’s investigation. A spokeswoman said she would not address any specific case or individual.

On Capitol Hill, Jan. 6, the House Select Committee is interviewing witnesses and has issued summons to several high-profile figures allied with Trump. And since Garland and the Department of Justice have remained silent about their intentions, committee members have expressed a desire to pressure the department, saying they would consider making criminal referrals if their investigation found evidence that Trump or others would not. can support the prosecution against

Even the lawsuits from the rioters on Capitol Hill have presented a series of ethical and legal challenges that have puzzled judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys.

Overworked courts have tried to balance the painstaking exchange of search material with speedy trial security and handle dire situations in local Washington prisons, where some defendants are being held without bond. They have also tackled a fundamental underlying tension: how to personally deliver justice to the hundreds of defendants who together helped create a violent mob.