Up to 1,200 people could still face Capitol riot charges

Up to 1,200 people could still face Capitol riot charges

As many as 1,200 additional people could still face charges related to the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol Building, according to a letter sent by the US attorney overseeing the investigations to a DC federal court judge. 

The letter, sent by US Attorney Matthew Graves to Chief Judge Beryl Howell in October 2022, estimated that an additional 700 to 1,200 individuals would face charges related to the riot, according to Bloomberg News

Graves’ estimate could more than double the amount of cases related to Jan. 6 that have already been filed. 

Earlier this month, the Justice Department reached a milestone in prosecutions when it confirmed that at least 1,000 people have been arrested in connection to the Capitol attack

“We expect the pace of bringing new cases will increase, in an orderly fashion, over the course of the next few months,” Graves wrote in the letter, according to Bloomberg News, and warned that it was “incredibly difficult” to predict future cases because of the “nature and the complexity of the investigation.” 

FILE - Rioters wave flags on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. Federal prosecutors are employing an unusual strategy to prove leaders of the far-right Proud Boys extremist group orchestrated a violent plot to keep President Joe Biden out of the White House, even though some of the defendants didn't carry out the violence themselves.  AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)
Rioters wave flags after storming the Capitol Building on Jan. 6, 2021.

Graves added that estimates could change and that he wasn’t sure how many of the new defendants would face misdemeanor charges versus felony charges, but signaled that a higher percentage of cases would be felony ones.

Howell told Bloomberg News in a statement that his court “continues to manage its caseload and trial calendar efficiently, notwithstanding the delays occasioned by the pandemic.” 

Matthew Graves
US Attorney Matthew Graves said the DC federal court should expect between 700 to 1,200 more cases related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol Building.
More than 500 people have pleaded guilty or have been convicted on charges related to Jan. 6.
AFP via Getty Images

“So far, the court has been able to manage the increased criminal caseload well,” Howell said. “Should a ‘surge’ of filings occur at a later date, the Court would assess what additional steps, if any, it should take.” 

Howell’s term as chief judge in the DC federal court ends later this week.

More than 500 people have entered guilty pleas related to Jan. 6 and more than 50 have been convicted at trial, according to the report, which cites the US attorney’s office. 

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