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Department of Justice calls for help as cases begin for Capitol Building rioters

It has been almost a month since the fatal riots at the U.S. Capitol Building and the Department of Justice is reaching out for help in prosecuting the growing number of cases (https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/facing-significant-influx-capitol-siege-cases-doj-issues/story?id=75664821). The DOJ has asked 93 U.S. attorneys’ offices to send available and capable lawyers to Washington, D.C. for assistance. Responses are needed by the end of this week.


Several crimes were committed during the riots including: assaulting a federal officer, obstructing law enforcement engaged in official duties incident to civil disorder, knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, assault on a Federal Officer with a dangerous or deadly weapon, destruction of government property over $1,000, and carrying or having readily accessible, on the grounds of the United States Capitol Building, a firearm and ammunition. A list of participants and their respective crimes can be found on the DOJ website (https://www.justice.gov/opa/investigations-regarding-violence-capitol). On top of these crimes at least five people were killed during the riots.


Several states have already pledged to prosecute any of their citizens who participated. U.S. attorney for South Carolina Peter McCoy tweeted, "Let me be perfectly clear, anyone who traveled from the District of South Carolina with intent to aid this travesty or commit acts of destruction will be prosecuted by (my office)." A handful of other attorneys posted similar messages.


Attorneys who respond to the DOJ’s call will be tasked with looking over video footage and other evidence for over 400 individuals who may have committed crimes. While many of these people came from other states, they will all be prosecuted in Washington, D.C. because the crimes were committed there. The DOJ is also investigating claims that some rioters had planned the storming of the Capitol Building in the days leading up to January 6th. Will these cases bring closure to the event, or will the impending impeachment trial rile up this same base all over again?

Image Credit: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images, FILE

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