FBI, DOJ on riot charges: It's just the tip of the iceberg

Yahoo FInance's Alexis Keenan joined Yahoo Finance live to discuss the FBI and Department of Justice's move to indict rioters from the recent Washington, D.C. riot.

Video Transcript

SEANA SMITH: We want to get to Alexis Keenan, because she was closely watching the FBI holding a press conference in the last hour about its investigation into the Capitol Hill riots from last week. Alexis, what can you tell us?

ALEXIS KEENAN: So this was just an update from the Department of Justice, and they're talking about the criminal charges and the efforts that they're making regarding that attack on the capitol on Wednesday. Now agency officials, they describe the investigation as, quote, "enormous." They said it will not be solved overnight.

They also called the range of criminal activity mind blowing. They said it includes trespass, theft of devices, assault on federal officers, theft of national security information, and felony murder as well as civil rights violations. They also specifically, though, said that they're going after, quote, "significant felony cases tied to sedition and conspiracy." Now, of course, that is conspiracy to overthrow the government by means of violence.

Those types of cases can carry penalties up to 20 years, so they're really taking a look at that. Now so far, the Department of Justice said that more than 170 case files have already been opened with criminal charges against those who allegedly committed crimes both on the capitol grounds as well as inside the capitol. Now officials say they expect that those numbers will grow into the additional hundreds in the coming weeks.

They said, though, while law enforcement is still investigating and while they have received more than 100,000 pieces of digital media to help in their investigation, they are still asking for Americans to help out so that they can obtain more leads. Right now they're offering a $50,000 award for leads that go to help them solve who left pipe bombs outside both the RNC and the DNC as well. And the agencies are asking individuals right now to contact the FBI.

Now officials did warn that local officers are making this effort across the country. They said, we will be knocking on your door, whether you're in DC or all the way clear spanned to the West Coast. They said, if you took part, we will find you.

- Alexis, I'm curious. They also said that they are looking at this as an international anti-terror probe. Does that give them more ammunition? And, perhaps, the consequences for those who might be convicted, do they face an even greater punishment if this is an international anti-terror probe?

ALEXIS KEENAN: It's possible, Adam. They didn't go into detail on the types of charges that are actually viable right now. Though they did say that they were primarily concerned with those sedition charges and charges that have those penalties up to 20 years. They were also asked about a report that had come out in "ZeroHedge" on Sunday, saying that some of the alleged offenders were being added to the no fly list, the federal no fly list for the US. And asked if that's a tool that's being used by law enforcement, the officials said that that is one of the things they are looking into, though they're still gathering intelligence along those lines.