Last Updated on March 19, 2023
Federal prosecutors in Washington D.C. have told court officials to expect an additional 700-1,200 arrests and charges in connection with the January 6 Capitol protests. Over 1,000 protesters have already been arrested and charged, with the most common guilty plea being picketing in a federal building, essentially trespassing. While such an offense generate a fine if any action at all, federal prosecutors and judges have thrown the book at January 6 protesters and have signaled that they will continue to do so.
Matthew Graves, the U.S. attorney in Washington D.C., sent a one-page letter to the chief judge of Washington DC federal court warning that an increase in cases is to be expected over the coming months, Bloomberg News reported.
Graves said in the letter that justice department officials estimated that another 700 to 1,200 defendants could face charges. That would nearly double the number of criminal cases relating to January 6, Bloomberg reported.
In the letter, Graves noted that getting an exact number is “incredibly difficult” due to the “nature and the complexity of the investigation.” He did note, however, that he expects the bulk of the additional arrests to be felonies. “We expect the pace of bringing new cases will increase, in an orderly fashion, over the course of the next few months,” Graves wrote.
The heavy-handed crackdown on January 6 protesters pales in comparison to local and federal law enforcement responses to the months-long George Floyd riots in 2020. The DOJ opted not to conduct years-long manhunts for far-left rioters who attacked the White House and burned historic buildings in 2020, nor have they hunted down arsonists who burned federal buildings across the nation.
In total, around 90% of charges against BLM rioters were dropped without incident, with that figure reaching as high as 95% in cities such as Philadelphia and Dallas. The months-long riot ultimately left 25 Americans dead and caused billions in property damage.
Zero law enforcement personnel were killed by the January 6 crowd.