Members of the pro-Trump mob who targeted the US Capitol Building could face up to 10 years in prison because of a previous order made by the president.
Acting US attorney for DC Michael Sherwin said yesterday that ‘all options are on the table’ for charging those involved with the violence which left four dead in Washington DC on Wednesday.
‘We are looking at all actors here. Not only the people who went into the building,’ he said during a press conference.
Police say they are now hoping to find at least 36 more suspects in addition to the 81 already arrested after the FBI put out a call yesterday for people to help identify those at the riots.
A large group descended on the Senate and House Chambers, vandalised statues, fired tear gas and defaced property in terrifying scenes.
Officers say the suspects – part of a group of white supremacists, Holocaust deniers and conspiracy theorists – are wanted for a number of crimes, including inciting a riot and weapons charges.
The Department of Justice has promised to bring them all before the courts.
The acting attorney general, Jeffrey Rosen, said in a statement: ‘The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that those responsible for this attack on our Government and the rule of law face the full consequences of their actions under the law.’
He added the violent protesters will face ‘full consequences of their actions under the law’, which could include the rarely used ‘seditious conspiracy’ charge, or up to 10 years in prison for ‘injury of federal property’.
Ironically President Trump made this executive order to protect American monuments, memorials, and statues during Black Lives Matter demonstrations following the death of George Floyd earlier this year.
The order states offenders would be prosecuted for vandalising government property which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
At the time, president Trump vowed to give ‘long prison terms for these lawless acts against our Great Country’.
DC Sherwin added 55 cases have been charged so far, but warned it is ‘just the beginning.’
Fifteen federal cases are expected to be filed shoretly for crimes such as access and theft of property, and investigators are currently looking through more evidence.
CNN reported the first few defendants charged appeared in DC Superior Court yesterday.
Jared Amos, 38 and of Florida, pleaded not guilty to unlawful entry to Capitol grounds and violating the 6pm curfew.
David Ross, 33 and of Massachusetts, pleaded guilty to the same charges. Both men have been ordered to stay away from DC area unless they are attending court hearings.
DC Sherwin said 40 other cases have already been charged in a District of Columbia superior court.
Pictures of the suspects were revealed at a press conference yesterday. More than 50 police were also injured in the riot, leaving several in hospital.
Some of the assailants have already been identified through social media – such as the horned QAnon ‘Shaman’ Jake Angeli – but a manhunt has been launched to find the rest.
It comes as prosecutors said president Trump could potentially face charges over his role in inciting the violent siege of the US Capitol.
The riots kicked off after president Trump appeared at a Save America protest to claim the election had been ‘stolen’ from him.
When asked if the president could be included in the probe, DC Sherwin replied: ‘We’re looking at all actors here, and anyone that had a role and the evidence fits the elements of a crime, they’re going to be charged.’
As a sitting president, Trump cannot be charged with any crimes until he officially leaves office on January 20 when Biden is inaugurated, however authorities can still open a case and conduct an investigation.
Sources say Cabinet secretaries are discussing invoking the 25th Amendment to officially remove Trump from office.
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