Police in Washington, D.C., on Thursday released photos of about two dozen people they say are persons of interest in Wednesday’s riot inside the Capitol.
All but one of the images depict apparent supporters of President Trump inside the Capitol and suspected of unlawful entry. One shows a person outside the building, suspected of receiving stolen property. The person is holding a broken shard of what appeared to a wooden sign reading “Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.”
The FBI is also seeking the public’s help identifying those who stormed the building Wednesday after Mr. Trump gave a speech nearby. The Justice Department has said a policy introduced last year to press sedition charges against those who damage federal buildings may be invoked in some cases stemming from Wednesday’s chaos.
The Metropolitan Police Department arrested 68 people Wednesday and early Thursday morning, primarily for violating a curfew imposed by the city’s mayor. All but one of those arrested lives outside Washington. The U.S. Capitol Police also arrested 14 people during the rioting.
Michael Sherwin, the acting U.S. attorney for D.C., told reporters his office has charged 40 people in D.C. Superior Court, mostly including crimes related to unlawful entry of the U.S. Capitol grounds, along with a “handful” of assault cases and eight firearms cases. Sherwin said the 40 cases included crimes over the past 36 hours, with some occurring prior to the Capitol breach.
Sherwin’s office presented an additional 15 federal criminal cases Thursday afternoon to a federal magistrate judge directly in relation to the attack at the Capitol. The office was expecting to release criminal affidavits with more detailed information later Thursday night.
The federal charges included unauthorized entry into the Capitol, theft of materials from inside the complex and several weapons charges. Sherwin said one man had a military-style semi-automatic rifle and 11 Molotov cocktails “ready to go.”
“This was obviously a very dangerous situation, and we are aggressively trying to address these cases as soon as possible,” Sherwin said.
Sherwin said “all options were on the table” when it comes to considering more serious riot or sedition-related charges for those arrested and anyone else who may have been involved with planning the attack. When asked whether he would be examining the role of Trump’s comments to his supporters prior to the assault, Sherwin repeated: “We’re looking at all actors here and anyone that had a role, and if the evidence fits the elements of a crime, they’re going to be charged.”
He said federal investigators were scouring social media and video footage in order to identify more suspects. He said he believes the 15 federal cases are “just the beginning.”
The Metropolitan Police Department is looking for the people pictured below. Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Conte called the group a “violent mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol,” and said the images have been shared with local hotels and airports, as well as the FBI.
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