Clicky

July 31, 2021

Law enforcement officials expecting dozens of charges against US Capitol rioters

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Following Wednesday’s embarrassing federal response to Pro-Trump rioters ransacking of the Capitol, the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies are planning a push to make arrests and bring charges against those who led the insurrection, federal law enforcement officials said. 

Dozens of charges are expected in Washington DC’s local and federal courts, including as many as 15 federal cases against people who are believed to be involved in the more serious alleged crimes, the officials said Thursday.

FBI digital experts spent the night ingesting surveillance video from the Capitol buildings and the area around the complex and are using software to match images and faces with social media posts showing some of the mayhem. In some cases, people involved in storming the Capitol made social media postings ahead of the rally making clear what their plans were, which federal prosecutors can use to help bring charges. 

Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and other federal officials are coordinating the response but are also facing questions about why law enforcement appeared unprepared for the onslaught that in many ways had already been telegraphed by President Trump and his supporters on social media. 

Part of the response Thursday includes repairing and building new harder-to-breach fencing around the capitol west-facing grounds to protect the area to be used for Inauguration ceremonies in two weeks. Trump supporters could be seen swarming over the stage where Biden will take the oath of office.

Some more context: On Wednesday, CNN reported that a law enforcement source confirmed to CNN that pipe bombs were found at the headquarters for the DNC, RNC and grounds of the United States Capitol. The source said all the devices were safely detonated by the police. A source told CNN there could be charges related to that as well.