Law enforcement officials are privately debating whether to indict some of the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol this month, according to a report in the Washington Post on Saturday.
No decisions were made in the early discussions as to whether some members of Trump’s mob who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 should not be charged, several people familiar with the discussions told the Post.
However, concerns about working in front of investigators and prosecutors have reportedly come into play to expose the practicality of prosecuting anyone involved in a riot, which the Post roughly estimates could have involved up to 800 people.
While Justice Department officials have pledged to identify and arrest those who stormed the Capitol, there are ongoing considerations as to whether or not they should all be charged, sources the Post said.
The debate arises from the fact that the Justice Department and the FBI continue to crumble the credibility of making decided mistakes security and intelligence before the deadly siege of the citadel of the nation’s democracy.
Given the large number of white supremacists involved in the January 6 uprising, the no-charge deliberation raises concerns about a judicial system marred by a long legacy of unequal treatment of black people and a new one The wave sparked racial justice movements last summer.
While some federal officials have privately suggested not to prosecute those linked only to illegally entering the Capitol, others have argued The importance of sending a strong message in order to prevent similar behavior in the future was communicated to the Post by those familiar with the discussion.
DOJ spokesman Marc Raimondi told the Post in an email that “the Justice Department is absolutely determined to hold accountable anyone who has intentionally committed criminal activity in the Capitol.”
“We remain confident that the US District Court for Washington, DC, can adequately handle the documents related to the resulting charges,” said the spokesman.
The insight into the DOJ’s internal discussions also follows the efforts of White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki to work out plans for how the Biden administration would counter “domestic violent extremism” after the siege of the Capitol.
The Justice Department has charged more than 135 people with crimes in or around the Capitol. Many more charges are expected in the coming weeks.