Federal prosecutors around the country are pledging to prosecute the domestic terrorists who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, with Washington, D.C., U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin taking a position that should make Team Trump pretty nervous. “We are looking at all actors, not only the people who went into the building,” Sherwin said Thursday. Asked specifically about Donald Trump, who urged the crowd to march on the Capitol, Sherwin didn’t say no.
”We’re looking at all actors,” he said. “If the evidence fits the elements of a crime, they’re going to be charged.”
Sherwin also sounded very annoyed with the police who let the mob just leave the scene of the crime. “Hundreds of people flooded the Capitol and were not [handcuffed] by police,” he said. “I don’t want to be Monday morning quarterbacking to say why they didn’t do it, but it made our job more difficult.”
Sherwin said his office has already charged 55 cases, including 40 people charged in D.C. Superior Court with unlawful entry of public property, with possible curfew violation charges to come. Some were also charged on firearms offenses, including someone who had a “military style automatic weapon” and 11 Molotov cocktails. Because these people are terrorists. Another was charged with assaulting a police officer with a hockey stick. There’s also a murder investigation after a Capitol Police officer died of injuries sustained in the invasion.
Fifteen cases involving federal charges are being brought so far, including a man found after curfew on the Capitol grounds wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying a 9mm handgun with a round in the firing chamber, two fully loaded 12-round magazines, and a gas mask.
Then there are ongoing investigations into thefts from Capitol offices, including of electronics and files that may raise national security concerns.
Around the country, U.S. attorneys said they would prosecute people in their districts who participated, with The American Prospect’s Marcia Brown keeping a valuable running list. That list includes prosecutors in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
A couple stand out, like this warning issued on the afternoon of Jan. 6 by a prosecutor who really, really wanted people to know he was serious:
Some of the U.S. attorneys specifically cited the intent to prosecute people who traveled from their jurisdictions with the intent to commit these crimes. Intent can be hard to prove, but it may be less so here given how many of these people ran their mouths extensively on right-wing websites.
Unfortunately this is all playing catch-up after the Capitol Police so dramatically screwed up, first by leaving the Capitol vulnerable to a terrorist attack they had full warning was coming, and then by not making arrests as people left the scene.