Hundreds of supporters of Donald Trump came into the US Capitol on Tuesday, six months after they overpowered police barriers and streamed into the building, forcing lawmakers, staffers, and journalists to take cover.
There is no indication that the investigation will end soon. Since the riots, every week a new arrest has been unsealed in federal court. Tips from the public are continuing to be sought by the FBI in order to identify hundreds of suspects photographed and recorded on video at the scene. According to a few plea deals revealed so far, investigators are building other cases in conjunction with cooperating defendants.
Over 535 arrests have been made
That’s according to the latest figures released by the Justice Department on Tuesday. On Jan. 6, very few people were arrested at the Capitol; the vast majority of rioters who came to Washington, DC, from across the country, went home. The investigation has unfolded in nearly every state since then, resulting in arrests on a rolling basis.
The number of cases prosecutors expect to bring has consistently increased. It was anticipated that the US attorney’s office would bring at least 400 cases in court by March. The number is now well past 500, and there is no indication when it will stop. Around 800 people were in the Capitol, and a large crowd gathered in front. One case was dropped because the defendant died, and another was dropped for reasons authorities haven’t fully explained yet, stating only that they reflected on the facts that the government knows now.
Many of the cases involve people who are not charged with entering the building at all, but with assaulting police or destroying equipment belonging to media outlets on the grounds outside. Federal authorities released 11 new videos of suspects who are wanted for attacking federal officers on Tuesday.
Number of defendants in jail: ~70
There are at least 70 defendants in jail awaiting trials or in custody awaiting pretrial detention hearings to determine their fate in the near future. Despite restrictions sometimes like home incarceration or GPS monitoring, most defendants have been allowed to return home. Judges determine whether a defendant poses a flight risk or a danger to the community based on the severity of the charges and the likelihood that they will participate in another violent demonstration. The proportion of defendants that are released after arrest has been rising since a federal appeals court raised the bar in March for prosecutors to prevail on their arguments that defendants should remain in prison if they had not been charged with violence, theft or destroying property.
A handful of defendants who are charged with assaulting police or taking a leadership role in organizing others to travel to DC and descend on the Capitol have tried to appeal their incarceration, arguing that their alleged conduct was less serious than that of others charged with violence that day. But the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has so far rejected petitions to create different tiers under the umbrella of more serious conduct. Those defendants have stayed in jail.
Number of sentences: 1
So far, only 1 defendant has received prison time, Anna Morgan-Lloyd. The commenter described entering the Capitol as “the best day ever” on Facebook, but prosecutors negotiated a plea deal for Morgan-Lloyd to plead guilty to just one misdemeanor. She was sentenced to probation in June after making a tearful plea for leniency to a judge, an outcome which other defendants who recently cut deals – and have no previous convictions, like Morgan-Lloyd – are likely to argue in their favor.
Original article at BuzzFeed.