DOJ: More than 70 people charged in Capitol riot; number expected to rise into the 100s

During a press conference on Tuesday, acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin said the Department of Justice has charged more than 70 people in the attack on the Capitol. Sherwin said he suspects that number to “grow into the hundreds.”

Video Transcript

MICHAEL SHERWIN: I think the scope and scale of this investigation in these cases are really unprecedented, not only in FBI history, but probably DOJ history, in which, essentially, the Capitol grounds outside and inside are essentially a crime scene, and scale in which we have literally thousands of potential witnesses, and a scenario in which we are going to have, I believe, hundreds of criminal cases, both filed with our local courts, the Superior Court, and through the Federal Court System.

So just to frame things, the enormity of this investigation is going to take a lot of work and a lot of effort. And this is not going to be solved overnight. 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 of the US attorneys across the United States that are assisting these investigations, everyone is in for the long haul.

So that being said, let's turn to the numbers that Steve referenced. And the numbers are going to geometrically increase. So as we sit here now, literally days after this event happened, we have already opened 170, more than 170, subject files, meaning these individuals have been identified as potential persons that committed crimes on the Capitol grounds, inside and outside.

So of those 170 cases that have already been opened, and I anticipate that's going to grow to the hundreds in the next coming weeks, we've already charged over 70 cases. And again, that number, I suspect, is going to grow into the hundreds. So what are the types of cases we initially charged?

And I think there's some misconceptions. And I want to clarify some of those misconceptions, because given the enormity of the actors we saw both inside and outside the Capitol, the range of criminal conduct is really, I think, again, unmatched in any type of scenario that we've seen, the FBI or the DOJ.

We're looking at everything from simple trespass, to theft of mail, to theft of digital devices with inside the Capitol, to assault on local officers, federal officers, both outside and inside the Capitol, to the theft the potential national security information or national defense information, to felony murder, and even civil rights excessive force investigation.

So just the gamut of cases and criminal conduct we're looking at is really mind blowing. And that has really put an enormous amount of work on the plate of the FBI and Field Office throughout the entire United States.