The FBI and Department of Justice said on Tuesday that more than 170 people have been charged in connection with last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol, but the investigation has only just gotten momentum.
“The men and women of the FBI will leave no stone unturned in this investigation,” Steven M. D’Antuono, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington field office, told reporters. “This is a 24/7 full-bore extensive operation into what happened that day.”
D’Antuono said the FBI’s appeal to the public to help identify suspects in photos has yielded more than 100,000 pieces of digital evidence that the agency is scouring through.
“The FBI has a long memory and a broad reach,” D’Antuono said. “Agents and our partners are on the streets investigating leads not only here in the D.C. area, but also the country through the FBI’s 56 field offices.
“Even if you’ve left D.C., FBI agents from our local field offices will be knocking on your door if we find out that you were part of the criminal activity at the Capitol,” D’Antuono continued.
Acting U.S. attorney for the District of Washington, Michael Sherwin, called having the U.S. Capitol as the center of a crime scene “unprecedented” in American history. He said he foresaw thousands of potential witnesses and hundreds of criminal cases.
“This is not going to be solved overnight,” Sherwin said. “It’s not going to be solved within the coming weeks. It’s not going to be solved within the coming months. This is going to be a long-term investigation and rest assured, the Bureau, the Department of Justice, all the U.S. attorneys across the United States that are assisting these investigations, everyone is in for the long haul.”
Sherwin said he anticipated the number of criminal cases to grow in the coming weeks. The cases so far run the gambit from simple trespass, theft, and assault, to felony murder and civil rights excessive force investigation.
“This is only the beginning. So, after these criminal charges are filed via criminal complaint, that allows … law enforcement across the United States to arrest people from Dallas to Arkansas to Nashville to Cleveland to Jacksonville,” Sherwin said. “Regardless of it was just a trespass in the Capitol or if someone planted a pipe bomb, you will be charged and you will be found.”
Anyone with information on the suspects who took part in last week’s riots at the Capitol are asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI or submit photos and videos to fbi.gov/uscapitol.