A call to prosecute everyone involved in the U.S. Capitol riot was made by House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY). This call comes less than a week after a Washington Post report was published stating that officials were involved in early negotiations on whether or not they will proceed with every charge.
Nadler told the DOJ in a letter, “It is critical that all of the perpetrators of this insurrectionist attack be identified, investigated, arrested, charged, and subsequently prosecuted. The Department of Justice must dedicate every available resource to its offices across the country in order to ensure that all of these individuals are held accountable.”
Nadler to DOJ: "It is critical that all of the perpetrators of this insurrectionist attack be identified, investigated, arrested, charged, & subsequently prosecuted. DOJ must dedicate every available resource… in order to ensure all of these individuals are held accountable." pic.twitter.com/sLy5aJHK5N
— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) January 29, 2021
The letter that was sent by Nadler to acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson also called on the DOJ to give guidelines for how charges will be sought and what measures will be applied to distinguish between those charged with felonies and those with misdemeanors.
In addition to this, Nadler also asked for more data about the “strike force” as he looks into the possibility of sedition charges.
Last mid-January, the DOJ talked about a “strike force” that would investigate whether to effect sedition charges. Sedition carries a maximum of 20 years in prison, and this can be charged against some of the people who participated in the U.S. Capitol riot.
DOJ Strike Force has a 92% conviction rate in healthcare fraud cases! Real prison time for those convicted. #HCCAci
— Darci L. Friedman (@darcifriedman) April 18, 2016
The Democratic House Judiciary Chairman’s letter was concluded by saying, “The events of January 6 were an attack on our democracy and, in effect, our entire country. We thank you for the role that the Department’s investigators and prosecutors will play in bringing those responsible to justice and in helping to prevent any such future attacks.”
What made the letter controversial is how it was written a few days after a report by the Washington Post was released, talking about how law enforcement officials were discussing whether to proceed with charges
against those people who were only suspected of entering the U.S. Capitol.
One official also told the publication, “If an old man says all he did was walk in and no one tried to stop him, and he walked out, and no one tried to stop him, and that’s all we know about what he did, that’s a case we may not win.” He spoke about the sensitive topic on the condition of anonymity.
“If an old man says all he did was walk in and no one tried to stop him, and he walked out and no one tried to stop him, and that’s all we know about what he did, that’s a case we may not win” completely ignores everything that was going on January 6.
— ThePoliticsOv (@ThePoliticsOv) January 23, 2021
The said report released by the Washington Post emphasized these types of discussions in their early stages. However, it also said that nothing had been decided yet and that prosecutors are also considering other options.
For instance, those who were accused of jumping the fence at the White House have been given deferred plea agreements, “a diversion program akin to pretrial probation in which prosecutors agree to drop charges if a defendant commits no offenses over a certain time period.”
Meanwhile, in a Washington Post statement, a DOJ spokesperson denied that they are contemplating giving charges to everyone. The spokesperson said, “there is absolute resolve from the Department of Justice to hold all who intentionally engaged in criminal acts at the Capitol accountable.”
"Justice Department officials have promised a relentless effort to identify and arrest those who stormed the Capitol that day, but internally there is robust back-and-forth about whether charging them all is the best course of action.
— Alison Melser (@AlisonMelser) January 24, 2021
They continued and stated that they have consistently made it clear that they will follow the facts and evidence and charge individuals, respectively. They added that they remain confident that the U.S. District Court for Washington D.C. can adequately manage the docket related to any resulting charges.