Another 1,000 people could face charges in January 6 probe, prosecutor says

Rioters attack the US Capitol on January 6 (Getty Images)

Department of Justice officials are eying charges for as many as 1,000 more potential defendants in connection with the pro-Trump riot that attempted to disrupt certification of President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory, the District of Columbia’s top prosecutor has said.

In a letter sent last October to US District Court for the District of Columbia Chief Judge Beryl Howell, US Attorney Matthew Graves said the department was estimating that between 700 to 1,200 defendants could face charges from the attack on the Capitol on top of the more than 900 who had already been charged at the time of the letter, which was first reported on by Bloomberg News on Wednesday.

While Mr Graves told Judge Howell that it would be “incredibly difficult” to predict what the yet-to-be-filed cases could look like given the “nature and the complexity of the investigation,” which Attorney General Merrick Garland has described as “one of the largest, most complex, and most resource-intensive investigations” in US history, he said the new cases could be expected to include a higher percentage of felony charges, rather than the misdemeanor charges that have been filed against many defendants to date.

“We expect the pace of bringing new cases will increase, in an orderly fashion, over the course of the next few months,” Mr Graves said, adding at the end of the missive that his estimates could be adjusted since his office continuously monitors statistics of charges and “evaluate[s] changing resources and circumstances”.

Earlier this month, the department notched its 1,000th arrest in the riot investigation.