1,000 Plus People Face Charges for Jan. 6 Capitol Riot – Where Do Their Cases Stand?

Trump supporters near the U.S Capitol, on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. The protesters stormed the historic building, breaking windows and clashing with police. Trump supporters had gathered in the nation’s capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Shay Horse/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

By Ivan Villegas

WASHINGTON DC – It has been more than two years since the insurrection attacks on the U.S. Capitol, and according to an NPR report, “prosecutors have now charged more than 1,000 people in relation to the Jan. 6, 2021 attack.”

Specifically, 994 people have been charged at the federal level and 24 people have been charged in D.C. said NPR, noting about half of those have pleaded guilty and been sentenced; of those sentenced 58 percent have received prison time, with the prison sentence ranging from “seven days to 10 years.”

The NPR report added that “the judges collectively have actually given less prison time than what prosecutors have sought in around two thirds of the cases…defendants who haven’t received any prison time are often fined, and sentenced to a combination of probation, community service and home confinement, depending on the nature of the case.”

NPR has been following every case as they move through the legal system, and reports that both the scope and cost of the investigations have been massive.

“Every U.S. Attorney’s office has been involved, as well as every FBI field office,” adding federal district judges, appointed from both parties, reviewing most of these cases have brought up some commonality, including “the significance of Jan. 6, as an attempt to undermine democracy.”

Judge John Bates, a George W. Bush appointee, said in one case “the defendant was an active participant in a mob assault on our core democratic values and our cherished institution.”

The judges, said NPR, have also been taking into account whether or not those charged have shown remorse for their actions, seemingly “because some of the judges do worry this could happen again.”

“It has to be made clear that trying to violently overthrow the government, trying to stop the peaceful transition of power and assaulting law enforcement officers in that effort is going to be met with absolutely certain punishment,” said Judge Tanya Chutkin, a Barack Obama appointee, according to NPR.

The NPR story noted, “The sprawling investigation has already doubled the FBI’s domestic terrorism caseload, yet the Justice Department has indicated that it believes around 2,000 people were involved in the attack…the department may not even be halfway through its investigation.”

About The Author

Ivan Villegas (he/him) is a criminal justice graduate from CSU Sacramento. He wishes to continue his studies in law school starting in fall 2023. He is interested in immigration and international law, and hopes to use his degree for a career as an immigration attorney.

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  1. Keith Olsen

    When is Ray Epps going to be charged?  You know, Ray Epps, the guy who was instigating people to go into the Capitol and was believed to have been working for the government.

    1. David Greenwald

      From the NYT: “A lawyer for Ray Epps has demanded that the Fox host Tucker Carlson publicly apologize for “false and defamatory statements” that Mr. Epps served as a federal agent during the Capitol attack.”

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