FBI Opens 160 Cases on Capitol Riot with More Expected

An injured person is removed from U.S. Capitol Jan. 6.

An injured person is removed from U.S. Capitol Jan. 6. zz/STRF/STAR MAX/IPx

The bureau is combing through more than 100,000 pieces of digital media and expects to open more cases for a range of crimes including murder, sedition and theft of national security information.

The FBI has received some 100,000 pieces of digital media from the public relating to the Jan. 6 insurrection and is “scouring every one” of them for intelligence leads and evidence of potential crimes committed, an FBI official said Tuesday.

After the riots, which left five people dead, including one Capitol Police officer, the FBI sought photos and videos from the public that might help identify those who stormed the Capitol.

“In six days, we have opened more than 160 case files. We cannot do our job without the American people,” said FBI Washington Field Office Assistant Director in Charge Steven D’Antuono, who asked the public to continue submitting information to http://fbi.gov/USCapitol.

D’Antuono and Acting U.S. Attorney General Michael Sherwin said in a nationally-televised press conference—the FBI’s first since supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol—that the bureau has brought charges against 70 individuals, and both expect the FBI to ultimately open hundreds of cases as the investigation continues to expand.

Sherwin said the “gamut of cases we’re looking at is mind-blowing” and includes trespassing, theft of mail, theft of digital devices from inside the Capitol, theft of national security and defense information, felony murder, sedition and conspiracy, as well as Civil Rights violations. Many of these charges mandate prison terms of 20 years or more. Experts believe the insurrection opened the Capitol to potential IT compromises, though FBI officials did not disclose further details regarding the theft of laptops or national security-related information.

“The FBI has a long memory and broad reach. Even if you’ve left D.C., agents from our local field offices will be knocking on your door,” D’Antuono said. “

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