Justice Department reaches 1,000 January 6 arrests more than two years after Capitol attack
At least 1,000 people have been arrested in connection with the attack on the US Capitol more than two years after a mob fuelled by Donald Trump’s false election claims breached the halls of Congress to forcibly disrupt the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
The US Department of Justice notes that roughly one-third of all defendants are charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding law enforcement, including more than 100 people charged with using a deadly or dangerous weapon or causing serious injury to an officer.
Roughly 140 officers with the US Capitol Police and Washington DC’s Metropolitan Police Department were injured in the attack.
More than 500 people have pleaded guilty to a range of federal charges; roughly 386 have pleaded guilty to misdemeanors, and 133 pleaded guilty to felonies, half of which include assaulting law enforcement officers.
The latest tallies come as the Justice Department continues to investigate the former president for his actions leading up to and during the riot that also was the subject of a House select committee investigation that ultimately referred him to federal prosecutors for criminal charges.
Members of Congress determined there is sufficient evidence to charge Mr Trump – who faces other criminal probes in Georgia and New York while seeking the 2024 Republican nomination for president – for four major crimes, including obstruction, conspiracy, making knowingly false statements to the federal government, and inciting or assisting an insurrection.
Mr Trump, meanwhile, has vowed to issue mass pardons for Capitol riot defendants, if elected, and has helped raise money for their defence. He also joined a song recorded by a group of jailed defendants named the J6 Prison Choir released the day before his headlining speaking slot at 2023’s Conservative Political Action Conference.
Federal prosecutors have secured indictments and convictions against several high-profile members of far-right groups on treason-related charges.
Five members of the far-right nationalist gang the Proud Boys, including its former leader, are at the centre of an ongoing trial on charges of seditious conspiracy, marking the third such trial involving similar charges in the aftermath of the attack. That trial began in January.
Across two other jury trials last year, six members of the far-right, anti-government militia group the Oath Keepers were also found guilty of seditious conspiracy for their roles in the attack.
In November, a jury in Washington DC found that Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and Florida chapter leader Kelly Meggs were guilty of seditious conspiracy, marking the conclusion of the federal government’s highest-profile January 6 trial at the time, revealing the goverment’s sprawling cases against the defendants.
Two months later, a jury determined that four other members of the group – Joseph Hackett, Roberto Minuta, David Moerschel and Edward Vallejo – were also guilty of seditious conspiracy, agreeing that the members plotted to violently stop the certification of Joe Biden’s election.
All four defendants were also found guilty on 23 January of conspiracy to obstruct Congress and conspiracy to destroy federal property.
Including guilty pleas, a total of 10 people have been convicted of seditious conspiracy connected to January 6 thus far.
More than 400 people charged in connection with the attack have been sentenced. Roughly half of those defendants were jailed, and 100 others have been sentenced to home confinement.