FBI nears 500 arrests stemming from pro-Trump riot at U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6

·Senior Editor
·3-min read

The FBI has arrested more than 440 people on a range of charges stemming from the Jan. 6 riot staged by supporters of then-President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol. 

In the four months since Trump's supporters stormed the Capitol in an effort to prevent Congress from certifying President Biden's November election victory, the FBI has fanned out across the country, arresting individuals in all but six U.S. states, NBC News reported

The hunt for suspects is far from over, however. 

"We're not done rounding up the worst of the worst," one law enforcement official told NBC News. "We're not slowing down."

On its website, the FBI has posted hundreds of pictures of suspects and has asked the public for help leading to the arrests of those who took part in the riot that injured approximately 140 members of both the U.S. Capitol Police and Washington's Metropolitan Police.

"The FBI is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying individuals who made unlawful entry into the U.S. Capitol building and committed various other alleged criminal violations, such as destruction of property, assaulting law enforcement personnel, targeting members of the media for assault, and other unlawful conduct, on January 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C.," the FBI says on its website.

So far, 60 of the more than 440 people arrested by the FBI have been charged with assaulting police. The bureau also continues to offer a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individuals who planted pipe bombs at the headquarters of the Republican and Democratic national committee buildings in Washington on Jan. 5. Those devices never went off, but may have been set so as to divert police away from the insurrection at the Capitol. 

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: Protesters gather on the second day of pro-Trump events fueled by President Donald Trump's continued claims of election fraud in an to overturn the results before Congress finalizes them in a joint session of the 117th Congress on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Pro-Trump supporters descend on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The ongoing arrests come as Trump has looked to reassert his claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him, the central motivating factor cited by his supporters for traveling to Washington in early January. This week, he launched a blog in which he repeated his discredited claims that fraud cost him the election and attacked Republicans who have refused to support that view. The former president's social media accounts were suspended following the Jan. 6 riot. 

While the majority of congressional Republicans have continued to either stand by Trump's debunked election claims or have not spoken out against them, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming has continued to criticize the former president for his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection. 

In a Wednesday op-ed in the Washington Post, Cheney attacked Trump for his continued insistence that the election was stolen. 

"Trump repeats these words now with full knowledge that exactly this type of language provoked violence on Jan. 6," Cheney wrote. "And, as the Justice Department and multiple federal judges have suggested, there is good reason to believe that Trump’s language can provoke violence again."

To date, the overwhelming majority of those the FBI have arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 riot are men, and their average age is 39, according to figures complied by the Program on Extremism at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Arrests have continued to be made this week. On May 3, for example, Pennsylvania resident Gary Edwards was arrested and charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; disruption of official business; violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building. The FBI was able to identify Edwards through photos and video collected at the insurrection, USA Today reported. Images posted to Instagram also helped lead to his arrest. 

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