WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal prosecutors are looking at bringing “significant” cases involving possible sedition and conspiracy charges in last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol.
That’s according to acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin, who provided an update on criminal charges at a Justice Department news conference on Tuesday.
He says that some of the misdemeanor charges brought against the people who sieged the Capitol were intended as placeholder counts and that more serious charges including sedition are possible. He says the Justice Department has created a specialized task force that will look at everything from travel to movement of the individuals.
Sherwin says more than 170 subject profiles have been opened so far in connection to the riot, a number that is expected to grow. He says charges have been brought in more than 70 of those cases so far.
Other alleged offenses he says are expected in connection to the event range from things like simple trespass and mail theft to assault on local and federal officers, murder and potential civil rights excessive force cases.
The FBI says it notified other law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Capitol Police, the day before the riot at the Capitol about an online message about a "war” and storming the U.S. Capitol.
The FBI said Tuesday that the warning was issued through the Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the U.S. Capitol Police have members on the task force.
The Washington Post said the bulletin described that people had been sharing maps of the Capitol’s tunnels and discussed rallying points to meet up to travel to Washington. The newspaper reported that the document detailed posts calling for violence, including that “Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in, and blood from their BLM and Pantifa slave soldiers being spilled.”
BLM stands for Black Lives Matter. Pantifa is a derogatory term for antifa, far-left-leaning militant groups that resist neo-Nazis and white supremacists at demonstrations and other events.