Feds expect to arrest more than a dozen involved in Capitol siege
The FBI is combing social media and cellphone records to determine who was involved in the destructive security breach
By Molly Crane-Newman
New York Daily News
WASHINGTON — Federal authorities expect to arrest more than a dozen pro-Trump rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol in a violent assault, with some suspects likely to be picked up on Thursday, officials said.
Acting Attorney General Jeffery Rosen in a statement Thursday denounced the violence that left four people dead -- a woman identified as Ashli Babbitt, who was trying to break through a door inside the Capitol building, and three others from unknown medical emergencies.
“Our criminal prosecutors have been working throughout the night with special agents and investigators from the U.S. Capitol Police, FBI, ATF, Metropolitan Police Department and the public to gather the evidence, identify perpetrators, and charge federal crimes where warranted,” Rosen said.
“Some participants in yesterday’s violence will be charged today, and we will continue to methodically assess evidence, charge crimes and make arrests in the coming days and weeks to ensure that those responsible are held accountable under the law,” he added.
Investigators are combing social media and cellphone records to determine who was involved in the destructive security breach that made international headlines.
The U.S. Secretary of the Army also said some 800 security personnel will be on U.S. Capitol grounds for next 30 days, according to reports.
The riots broke out around 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday as thousands of pro-Trump agitators stormed through the metal barriers around the U.S. Capitol and entered the building, forcing lawmakers trying to certify Joe Biden’s Electoral College win to flee the inner chamber.
Footage of the chaos shows overwhelmed Capitol police struggling to stop the violent mob from entering the building and making it to the floor of Congress where lawmakers were certifying the election results.
U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund said the riots were “unlike anything” he’s experienced in his 30 years in law enforcement in D.C.
“Maintaining public safety in an open environment – specifically for First Amendment activities – has long been a challenge. ... But make no mistake – these mass riots were not First Amendment activities; they were criminal, riotous behavior. The actions of the USCP officers were heroic given the situation they faced,” he said, noting that multiple pipe bombs were discovered in cars around the building even as rioters fought their way inside.
“The USCP is conducting a thorough review of this incident, security planning and policies and procedures,” he noted.
The mob broke into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, and photos showed one trespasser sitting at a desk on the U.S. Senate floor occupied by Vice President Mike Pence before the evacuation.
The destruction ended in guns drawn by Capitol police and the death of Babbitt, who was fatally shot inside the building as some in the mob yelled out for a medic and scurried for cover.
Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department said it had made more than 80 arrests for trespassing and breaking curfew.
#FBI is seeking info that will assist in identifying individuals who are actively instigating violence in Washington, DC. FBI is accepting tips & digital media depicting rioting & violence in the U.S. Capitol Building & surrounding area on January 6, 2021. https://t.co/3gwcYcehAG pic.twitter.com/RXtFscFjZr— FBI Washington Field (@FBIWFO) January 7, 2021
MPD seeks assistance in identifying persons of interest responsible for Unlawful Entry offenses that occurred yesterday on US Capitol Grounds, 100 block of 1st Street, NW.— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) January 7, 2021
More photos: https://t.co/i2Hbv1bkPh
Have info? Call (202) 727-9099/text 50411 pic.twitter.com/yWIPEaxxFW
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