The Justice Department charged dozens Trump supporters involved in Wednesday’s Capitol riot and the top federal prosecutor in DC did not rule out bringing charges against President Donald Trump, The New York Times reports.
“We are looking at all actors, not only the people who went into the building,” acting US Attorney Michael Sherwin told reporters on Thursday.
Asked whether those targets could include Trump, who ginned up election conspiracy theories and urged his followers to go to the Capitol shortly before the riot, Sherwin doubled down.
Mr. Sherwin said he stood by his statement. “We’re looking at all actors,” he said. “If the evidence fits the elements of a crime, they’re going to be charged.”
Though DOJ guidelines preclude the sitting president from being prosecuted, Trump could be charged after he leaves office on January 20.
Sherwin said that investigators are still working to identify suspects but their job was made more difficult because Capitol police did not detain most of the people who stormed the Capitol.
“The scenario has made our job difficult,” he said. “That has made things challenging.”
He said the Capitol Police have not explained why they only arrested 14 people while letting everyone else leave.
Federal prosecutors have filed 40 cases, including unlawful entry, assault, and firearms charges, and are preparing to file another 15.
The DC police said they arrested 70 people at the riot on charges including unlawful entry, illegal gun possession, and assault.
Sherwin said rioters ransacked lawmaker offices and stole electronics.
One man had an assault rifle and 11 Molotov cocktails, he said.
Trump faces impeachment:
Trump, who has discussed preemptively pardoning himself before leaving office, will no longer be protected by the presidency if he faces charges.
He and his son Don Jr. urged the crowd on Monday to be “strong” and “fight.” His attorney Rudy Giuliani called to settle the election dispute by “trial by combat.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s top lieutenant said the House will vote on impeaching Trump a second time as early as the middle of next week.