Washington – Two years after a pro-Trump mob attacked the U.S. Capitol in an unprecedented riot, a criminal investigation into an equally historic riot was launched less than a mile from the Capitol grounds of the Federal Courthouse in Washington, DC. Done.
far right group
far right member Oath Keeper When Proud Boys The group is currently on trial for sedition conspiracy, accused of plotting to forcibly resist the peaceful transfer of power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden.
Prosecutors say they have prosecuted more than 950 individuals over the past two years, ranging from trespassing to the most serious sedition conspiracy.
of 1st year More than 700 arrests were recorded in the Department of Justice’s massive investigation into a data breach. This is probably the largest single survey. They were charged with various crimes and accused of participating in a mob that forced Congress to suspend certification of his 2020 Electoral College vote.
During this second year of investigation, as courts eased COVID-19 restrictions on jury panels, authorities charged riot leaders and alleged co-conspirators with inciting and directing violent mobs. The emphasis was on convicting those who were convicted.
In November, Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and associate Kelly Meggs became the first defendants. Convicted of sedition, the most serious charges ever filedTwo men and three co-defendants – who were acquitted of seditious conspiracy after an eight-week trial but convicted of other charges – could face multi-year prison sentences. A mixed verdict was not what prosecutors claimed when the trial began in October, but rather a pair of sedition convictions. sent a message of congratulations From Attorney General Merrick Garland.
Four more of Rhodes’ co-defendants, also accused of seditious conspiracies, are currently on trial, as are members of the Proud Boys, including leader Enrique Tario. We are in the middle of a lengthy jury selection process.Defendants currently on trial from both groups have pleaded not guilty
Last year, 40 defendants were convicted by judges and juries in contested trials, convicted of both violent and non-violent crimes.
Guy LiffitA member of the Texas Three Percenters militia group, was the first person to be convicted at trial.A jury convicted him of carrying a gun onto Capitol grounds and other crimes in March, taking him less than four hours to deliberate, and a federal judge later sentenced him More than 7 years imprisonment.
That same month, a federal judge found the Cowboys for Trump’s founder Qui Griffin Convicted of the non-violent crime of entering the restricted grounds of the US Capitol. He was acquitted of a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct.
The sole defendant, Matthew Martin, not guilty on all charges The public prosecutor filed a lawsuit against him. Martin was one of the few defendants who opted for a “bench trial,” in which a judge listens to the arguments and renders a verdict.
Some of the defendants who chose to stand trial this year, like Rhodes and Tario, have attempted to dismiss their cases, alleging prosecutorial overreach and misinterpretation of the law. Attempted to move the case out of Washington, DC, with allegations such as: A potential juror in the nation’s capital can’t be fair.
Tallio’s attorneys said on Thursday that they would again ask to have the case moved from Washington, D.C., and earlier this week, another defendant found the Jan. 6 defendant overwhelmingly guilty in an attempt to move his proceedings. I mentioned the verdict.
Federal judges have so far dismissed all but one of the claims, which are currently being reviewed by the Court of Appeals.
dozens of defendants Two of them remain incarcerated in the Washington, DC area, and their legal teams are also battling an unusual backlog of cases that have delayed several trials this year.Proceedings have been slowed by the easing of COVID Limitations, huge number of cases, amount of evidence. Defense attorneys for incarcerated defendants have also repeatedly told federal judges they have difficulty communicating with their clients before trial. This is another result of COVID and the sheer volume of cases.
More than 480 other defendants pleaded guilty to counts resulting from the January 6 attack, according to CBS News’ review of court hearings and filings over the past two years. Nearly 120 pleaded guilty to felonies, including 52 who pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer on January 6.
The four defendants have pleaded guilty to serious sedition conspiracy charges, according to the Justice Department. Oath Keeper When Proud Boys group.
Prosecutors also won guilty pleas and subsequent prison sentences in other less serious cases last year, like a former West Virginia lawmaker. Derrick Evans Admitted to livestreaming himself on Facebook during the mob. He was sentenced to three months in prison.
About 351 federal defendants have been convicted of criminal conduct during the Capitol raid, according to the Justice Department. Over 190 people were imprisoned.
Retired NYPD Officer Thomas Webster was convicted of assaulting a police officer with a flagpole outside the Capitol on January 6 and was subsequently sent to prison. 10 years, the harshest verdict ever handed down in an investigation. His release date is scheduled for his late 2030.
Trump Allies and January 6th
At one of hundreds of sentencing hearings last January 6, the federal judge (one of more than a dozen judges on the bench) who continues to fuel the unprecedented case onslaught. warned Recognizing the danger of an American “dictatorship”, he compared the attack on the Capitol to the Civil War.
“There was a group of people who knew the election hadn’t been plagiarized, but rioted to install their preferred candidate.
Of the approximately 950 people charged, more than 280 were charged with assaulting, resisting or obstructing police officers, and 50 were charged with conspiracy in the two years following the Capitol breach, prosecutors said. .
Kollar-Kotelly wasn’t the only federal judge across the country to level such claims last year.
Another California judge made a lawless allegation squarely under the feet of former President Donald Trump. “President Trump likely tried to fraudulently interfere with the Joint Congress on January 6, 2021,” wrote Carter. commented in lawsuit Among Trump’s best friends John Eastman and the now-defunct House Select Committee that investigated the attack.
The ruling had no legal bearing on the potential criminal charges of either Trump or Eastman, but was seized by many of Trump’s critics on the committee.
The work of the House Select Committee on Jan. 6 often clashed with the Justice Department, forcing federal prosecutors investigating criminal attacks into a political struggle.
Trump ally Steve Bannon put on trial Convicted of contempt of Congress For refusing to comply with Congress’ demands for documents and testimony. Another Trump confidant, Peter Navarro, was also charged with contempt. He has pleaded not guilty and will face trial later this year.
In July, the Justice Department told the commission it needed access to the commission’s interview transcripts and evidence to aid in further criminal investigations into the Jan. 6 incident. The request was largely unanswered until last month, when thousands of pages were released to the public. It was opened to prosecutors before the commission was dissolved.
The commission’s work also influenced criminal cases on January 6, including the ongoing Proud Boys seditious conspiracy trial.defendant last year persuaded a federal judge to “reluctantly” postpone trial due to the publicity and attention the Proud Boys received during the commission’s televised hearings. On Thursday, Tario and his co-defendants’ attorneys again told the judge in open court that the recent release of the Commission’s interview transcripts relating to their clients could overly complicate the trial. rice field.
And in a historic move, a House panel recommended that the Justice Department pursue at least four criminal charges in connection with allegations that former President Donald Trump attempted to block the transfer of presidential powers. bottom. The unprecedented, but largely symbolic, move marked the first time a former president was the subject of criminal charges by Congress.
Special Counsel Investigating Trump
Prior to the House Committee’s criminal referral, Attorney General Merrick Garland said: special adviser Oversees key aspects of the January 6 investigation related to the former president. Former federal prosecutor John “Jack” Smith, who once prosecuted war crimes in The Hague, has taken over all Trump-related investigations at the Justice Department.
According to sources, Smith is currently in the United States working with federal prosecutors to investigate Trump’s actions leading up to the Capitol attacks.
Since his appointment, Smith’s team has Subpoenaed Local Election Official In Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, CBS News learned of Trump’s communications with his campaign. appeared several.Among them was a former White House adviser. Stephen Miller and former White House attorney Pat CipolloneNone of these people have been charged or accused of any crime.
In November, a source familiar with the matter told CBS News that the Department of Justice reached out to talk to the former employee. Vice President Mike Pence.
Trump, who allegedly mishandled classified documents after leaving office and is also part of a special counsel investigation, has denied any wrongdoing, targeted the investigation as politically motivated, and said certain witnesses were behind closed doors. He tried to use various privileges to prevent him from testifying in court.
In a statement marking the second anniversary of the Capitol attack, Garland said: never happen again. ”
Despite progress in last year’s investigation, federal agents still face setbacks.Judges ruled against them at various pretrial hearings, rejected their efforts to convict the defendants unanimously on all counts indicted, and in a small number of cases In one case the judge acquitted hunter seafriedsuspected of breaking a window on the Delaware State Capitol grounds.
And on Wednesday, the FBI announced the reward $500,000 is worth $500,000 for information leading to the arrest of the person who planted the pipe bomb near the headquarters of the Republican and Democratic National Committees in Washington, D.C., on the eve of the Capitol storming on January 6.
The announcement of the FBI’s $500,000 bounty comes as investigators once again seek the help of the public to find who placed the viable explosives around the Capitol on January 5, 2021. was performed on Last year, investigators made little progress. The suspect has been difficult to identify and his five-fold increase on Wednesday reflects a slump in the case, according to people familiar with the matter.
Prosecutors estimate the total number of defendants accused of involvement in Capitol breaches could reach 2,000, and in his statement released this week, Garland said the Justice Department’s work ” It’s not over yet,” he said.
Andy Triay, Clare Hymes, Nicole Sganga, Melissa Quinn, Fin Gomez, Jacqueline Kalil, John Woolley, Keshia Butts, and Paulina Smolinski contributed to this report.