FBI investigators have opened more than 160 case files and are sifting through over 100,000 pieces of digital evidence as part of their sweeping probe into the deadly US Capitol riot, authorities announced Tuesday.
Those staggering figures represent just the beginning of a sprawling investigation that’s expected to result in hundreds of alleged rioters facing criminal charges, FBI and DOJ officials vowed in a joint press briefing.
“I want to stress that the FBI has a long memory and a broad reach,” said Steven D’Antuono, assistant director of the FBI’s Washington field office. “Even if you’ve left DC, agents from our local field offices will be knocking on your door if we find out that you’re part of the criminal activity at the Capitol.”
D’Antuono said that already, less than a week after the Jan. 6 riot in which supporters of President Trump sought to prevent the certification of Joe Biden’s presidential election win, the bureau has constructed a massive case supported by mountains of evidence, much of it provided by the public.
“We have opened over 160 case files, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg,” he said. “This is a 24/7, full-bore investigation into what happened that day.
“We cannot do our job without the help of the American people,” D’Antuono continued. “Since our call for tips, videos and pictures, we have received more than 100,000 pieces of digital media — which is absolutely fantastic — and we are scouring every one for investigative and intelligence leads.”
Michael Sherwin, the acting US attorney for Washington, DC, echoed the sentiment that the bulk of the work lies ahead.
“These are only the beginning,” he said, noting that over 70 cases have already been charged, a figure expected to grow into the hundreds. “This is not the end.”