American justice plans to tackle harshly the perpetrators of violence on Capitol Hill on January 6. On Tuesday, January 12, a senior justice ministry official said authorities have already identified 170 suspects, and are anticipating “hundreds” of indictments in the coming months, some of them for “sedition”. Justice has so far retained “the simplest charges to act as quickly as possible”, such as “illegal intrusion” or “unauthorized carrying of weapons”, explained the federal prosecutor of Washington, Michael Sherwin.
But the prosecutions may be reclassified later and “we are considering retaining major crimes such as sedition and conspiracy” for the most serious acts, he added at a press conference. A cell made up of prosecutors experienced in national security and corruption cases has been formed to prepare such prosecutions, which carry sentences of up to 20 years in prison, he said.
Homemade bombs discovered near the Capitol
Hundreds of Donald Trump supporters invaded the seat of Congress in Washington on January 6, causing chaos and violence as parliamentarians certified Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential victory. The federal police immediately mobilized teams to identify the participants in this assault thanks to the many photos and videos posted on social networks. 70 people have already been indicted, including some figures of the movement such as Jake Angeli, known for his buffalo headdress, or Richard Barnett, who set foot on the office of Democratic leader in Congress Nancy Pelosi.
Homemade bombs had also been discovered near the Capitol, near the offices of the Democratic and Republican parties. “They were real, with real detonators and a retarder,” said Michael Sherwin. The investigation must determine whether it was a diversion to occupy the Capitol police at the time of the assault or a “more harmful” project.