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US investigators have charged at least 150 people over Capitol riot

Arrests made across the US for charges including conspiracy and assault on law enforcement; over 400 suspects identified

US Capitol Police hold rioters at gun-point near the House Chamber inside the US Capitol in Washington, January 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
US Capitol Police hold rioters at gun-point near the House Chamber inside the US Capitol in Washington, January 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

US federal prosecutors have charged at least 150 people in connection to the storming of the US Capitol on January 6.

The charges range from entering a restricted building without lawful authority to conspiracy, interstate threats and assault on law enforcement, CNN reported. The network tallied the total number of charges by reviewing court records and announcements from the Justice Department.

The investigation has spanned the country, including arrests in Florida, California, New Hampshire and Hawaii. Officials told CNN they expected hundreds more arrests to be made in the case.

Michael Sherwin, the top US prosecutor in Washington, said at a Tuesday press conference that the Justice Department has identified over 400 suspects. Investigators have issued 500 subpoenas and search warrants in the investigation, Sherwin said.

Sherwin said sedition charges were a possibility for the insurrectionists. The charge covers plotting to overthrow the government and using force against government authority and can carry a 20-year sentence.

The FBI said it had received 200,000 tips from the public regarding the storming of the Capitol. The agency is offering a reward of $75,000 for information on pipe bombs that were deployed in Washington on the day of the riot.

Capitol Police officers in the Capitol Rotunda on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 25, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Also Tuesday, the interim chief of the Capitol Police apologized for failing to prepare for what became the violent insurrection despite having warnings that white supremacists and far-right groups would target Congress.

Yogananda Pittman, in prepared testimony before Congress, said that the Capitol Police “failed to meet its own high standards as well as yours.” She listed several missteps: not having enough manpower or supplies on hand, not following through with a lockdown order she issued during the siege and not having a sufficient communications plan for a crisis.

“We knew that militia groups and white supremacists organizations would be attending,” Pittman wrote. “We also knew that some of these participants were intending to bring firearms and other weapons to the event. We knew that there was a strong potential for violence and that Congress was the target.”

Trump supporters tore down fences and broke through doors and windows after an event in which the now-former president called on them to “fight” and “stop the steal.” Inside the building, Congress was certifying the victory of President Joe Biden.

Five people died, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher. A sixth person, another Capitol Police officer, later died by suicide.

The day after the riot, then-Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund said that his force “had a robust plan established to address anticipated First Amendment activities.” Sund has since resigned, as have the sergeants-at-arms for the House and Senate.

Officers who have spoken to the AP described being overrun by insurrectionists who in many cases were more armed than they were. The officers said they were given next to no plan beforehand or communication during the riot.

Several law enforcement and congressional reviews are underway.

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