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Hundreds charged with crimes in Capitol attack

More than 800 people across the US have been indicted in the January 6 riots in the US Capitol that have left officials bloodied and lawmakers in hiding, and federal authorities are making new arrests virtually every week.

Charges against members of the enraged pro-Trump mob range from minor offenses for those who only entered the Capitol to felonies of inflammatory conspiracy against right-wing extremists.

It is the largest indictment in the history of the Justice Department, whose head, Attorney General Merrick Garland, has vowed to hold “all January 6 perpetrators at every level” accountable.

As the US House of Representatives committee investigating the attack prepares to hold a series of public hearings to detail its findings, here’s where the criminal cases stand:

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Who was charged?

Authorities have arrested people in nearly all 50 states in connection with the riots. they include former police officers and US Military Veterans, a five-time Olympic swimming medalist and the son of a New York judge.

Hundreds of people who went inside but didn’t take part in any destruction or violence face only felony crimes like Capitol picketing and disorderly conduct that demand up to six months behind bars.

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More than 250 people have been charged Attacking or obstructing law enforcement those trying to protect the Capitol, including more than 85 accused of using a deadly or dangerous weapon or seriously injuring an officer. Others have been accused of assaulting members of the media – one an Associated Press photographer — or the destruction of media devices.

The most serious cases were brought against members of two far-right groups, the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys.

Leaders of both groups have been arrested and remain detained while awaiting trial later this year on seditious conspiracy charges, which allege conspiracy to violently resist the legitimate transfer of power from the President. The rarely used Civil War-era charge carries up to 20 years in prison.

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WHO WAS CONVICTED?

More than 300 people have pleaded guilty to a range of crimes including conspiracy and assault. Below are three Oath Keepers who have admitted a seditious conspiracycooperate with investigators and could testify in court against their fellow extremists.

So far there have been seven lawsuits in federal court for the District of Columbia. The first five grand juries convicted the rioters on all counts.

Among the convicts Thomas Webster, a 20-year veteran of the New York City Police Department who assaulted an officer during the riot. Webster claimed he defended himself by attacking the officer and grabbing his gas mask.

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The jury also rejected the defense Ohio man who claimed he was just ‘following orders from the President’ by ex-President Donald Trump as he stormed the Capitol. Dustin Byron Thompson was found guilty of preventing Congress from confirming the election results and other charges.

In two other cases, a judge ruled without a jury, acquitting one of the accused and partially acquitting the other.

Trump-appointed US District Court Judge Trevor McFadden was sentenced Otero County, New Mexico, Commissioner Couy Griffin of illegally entering the restricted Capitol grounds, but acquitted him of involvement in disorderly conduct.

In the other misdemeanor case, McFadden found Matthew Martin from New Mexico not guilty of charges that he illegally entered the Capitol and engaged in disorderly conduct, and said it was reasonable for Martin to believe that outnumbered police officers allowed him and others to enter through the rotunda doors.

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WHAT ABOUT THE PENALTIES?

Almost 200 people have been convicted so far. Penalties ranged from probation to more than five years in prison. About 100 people charged with minor offenses have avoided going to jail, although some have been given time in house arrest.

The longest sentence — more than five years – was given to Robert Palmer of Largo, Floridawho threw a wooden board and sprayed a fire extinguisher at officers before hurling the extinguisher at them.

Others who have received lengthy sentences include, among others Jacob Chansley, the spear-carrying rioter whose horned fur hat, bare chest, and face paint made him one of the more recognizable figures in the attack. Chansley, who called himself “QAnon Shaman,” was jailed some 31/2 years after admitting to entering the Senate chamber and writing a note to Vice President Mike Pence that said, “It’s just a matter of time, justice will come.”

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WHAT’S NEXT?

The two highest-profile trials – involving the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys – are expected to take place this summer and fall.

Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, who was once the top boss of the Proud Boys, and four other members of the group were charged on Monday with seditious conspiracy, having previously faced other conspiracy cases. They are scheduled to appear in court from August 9th.

Tarrio, who has since resigned as the group’s leader, was arrested on another case two days before the riot and was not at the Capitol as of January 6. But he is accused of instigating the violent attack.

The trial of Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes and four other members and associates of the group is scheduled to begin on September 26. Prosecutors say the Oath Keepers spent weeks trying to overturn the election results, preparing for a siege by buying arms and making battle plans.

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Authorities are still looking for many suspects, including the Person who planted two pipe bombs outside the offices of the Republican and Democratic National Committees the night before the melee.

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Follow Alanna Durkin Richer on Twitter at twitter.com/aedurkinricher

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission.

https://www.local10.com/news/politics/2022/06/07/explainer-hundreds-charged-with-crimes-in-capitol-attack/ Hundreds charged with crimes in Capitol attack

Sarah Y. Kim

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