The U.S. Department of Justice and its federal law enforcement authorities will file charges against some individuals who participated in the mob violence at the U.S. Capitol, the acting attorney general said in a statement Thursday.
According to ABC News, federal prosecutors worked through the night Wednesday evening and into Thursday to identify perpetrators involved in the storming of the Capitol after attending a protest rally near the White House in support of President Donald Trump. At least four people died and dozens of Trump supporters were arrested in Wednesday’s events.
“Yesterday, our Nation watched in disbelief as a mob breached the Capitol Building and required federal and local law enforcement to help restore order. The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that those responsible for this attack on our Government and the rule of law face the full consequences of their actions under the law,” acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said in a statement.
“Some participants in yesterday’s violence will be charged today, and we will continue to methodically assess evidence, charge crimes and make arrests in the coming days and weeks to ensure that those responsible are held accountable under the law,” he added.
The FBI announced on social media it is accepting tips and digital media depicting rioting or violence in or around the U.S. Capitol to identify the perpetrators.
The FBI is seeking to identify individuals instigating violence in Washington, D.C. We are accepting tips and digit… https://t.co/RpuDunAOJO
— FBI (@FBI)1610026544.0
The Washington, D.C., Police Department is also asking for help identifying lawbreakers.
MPD seeks assistance in identifying persons of interest responsible for Unlawful Entry offenses that occurred yeste… https://t.co/dSXFcWsuud
— DC Police Department (@DC Police Department)1610038043.0
Some of the rioters have been identified by the news media.
One man seen in several photos with a painted face, fur hat, and a helmet with horns was identified by CNN as Jake Angeli, an Arizona resident known by his followers as the QAnon Shaman. Angeli’s social media accounts reportedly make several references to the QAnon conspiracy theory, which holds as its major tenet that a secret cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles are leading America’s highest institutions of business and government and have orchestrated deep state opposition to President Trump. He’s been previously spotted at other pro-Trump rallies in various parts of the country.
Another identified rioter is Nick Ochs, the founder of Proud Boys Hawaii, a chapter of the far-right “male chauvinist” fraternal organization. Ochs tweeted a selfie from inside the Capitol building Wednesday and gave an interview to CNN in which he said the protesters met little to no resistance from Capitol Police as they trespassed in the building.
“We didn’t have to break in, I just walked in and filmed,” Ochs said. “There were thousands of people in there — they had no control of the situation. I didn’t get stopped or questioned.”
Another far-right activist, Tim Gionet, who goes by the internet pseudonym “Baked Alaska,” livestreamed himself from inside the Capitol building. Screenshots from that livestream were shared on social media.
Richard “Bigo” Barnett, 60, gave an interview to the New York Times in which he identified himself and admitted to trespassing in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office and taking materials from her desk.
It’s all so surreal. This guy didn’t just loot Pelosi’s office, he spoke on record to the NYT about it and gave the… https://t.co/TiDpSXqMTo
— Tom Gara (@Tom Gara)1609995881.0
ABC News’ Alexander Mallin reported that at least a dozen individuals involved in the riot will face charges, with more charges to come as more rioters are identified by authorities.