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HomeBlogAtty. Gen. Merrick Garland vows to hold Jan. 6 insurrectionists to account

Atty. Gen. Merrick Garland vows to hold Jan. 6 insurrectionists to account

Speaking a day before the first anniversary of the attack on the United States Capitol, Atty. General Merrick Garland on Wednesday pledged to hold those involved “at all levels” in the riot to account, whether or not they were present during the melee.

In his address to the Department of Justice billed as an update for employees on the insurgency investigation, Garland rebuffed critics who questioned his commitment to aggressively target those who may have organized or instigated the insurgency. riot. He called the investigation “the largest, most complex and most resource-intensive” in the history of the department and noted that such investigations take time. “We will follow the facts – not a program or a hypothesis,” he said. “The facts tell us where to go next. ”

Noting that 145 rioters pleaded guilty to misdemeanors and a further 20 pleaded guilty to felonies, the attorney general said prosecutors issued more than 5,000 subpoenas and investigators seized around 2,000 electronic devices, examined 20 000 hours of video footage and rated 300,000 tips. public.

“We understand that there are questions about the length of the investigation and what exactly we are doing,” he said. “Our response is, and will continue to be, the same response we would give to any ongoing investigation: as long as it takes and whatever it takes for justice to be done, according to the facts and the law. . “

Garland did not mention former President Trump’s name or provide any clues as to who may be in the sights of prosecutors beyond the 725 people already indicted in the violent assault by a seeking mob. to block congressional certification of President Biden’s victory.

Garland’s speech came as the department came under fire this week over whether it aggressively pursued those who played a role in planning or inciting the riot.

representative Ruben Gallego (D-Arizona) accused Garland for being “extremely weak” and “brash” in the way his department conducted the investigation.

“There should be a lot more January 6 organizers who should be shut down now,” Gallego told CNN on Tuesday.

Sandra Garza, the longtime girlfriend of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died a day after battling rioters, said Trump “must be in jail.”

“I hold Donald Trump 100% responsible for what happened on January 6 and all the people who allowed him, allowed him that day and continue to do so now,” Garzatold “PBS Newshour” on Monday.

Sicknick was sprayed with a chemical during the insurgency and collapsed hours later. He died the following night in a hospital. Although a medical examiner has determined that he suffered two strokes and died of natural causes, Capitol Hill police consider his death to have been committed in the line of duty.

More than 100 police officers were injured in a clash with thousands of Trump supporters, many of whom attended a rally where the president urged them to come to Capitol Hill and “fight like hell.” Authorities said the violence contributed to five deaths, including that of Sicknick. Garland called for a minute of silence during his speech for Sicknick and four other officers who committed suicide in the weeks following the attack.

In his speech, the attorney general said that the justice ministry had also stepped up its implementation of the rise in violence targeting “those who serve the public”, including election officials, journalists, flight crews and local elected officials. Capitol Police have also recorded a sharp increase in threats against members of Congress and senators.

“We have all seen that Americans who serve and interact with the public at all levels – many of whom make our democracy work every day – have been unlawfully targeted with threats of violence and actual violence,” Garland said.

The threats “permeate so many parts of our national life that they risk becoming normalized and routine if we do not stop them,” he warned.



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