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Capitol riot: Justice Department expects sedition charges, 20-year sentences

Capitol riot: Justice Department expects sedition charges, 20-year sentences
Steven D'Antuono, head of the FBI Washington field office (L) and Michael Sherwin, acting U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, participate in a news conference at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. Pool Photo by Sarah Silbiger/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 12 (UPI) -- U.S. Justice Department officials on Tuesday said they've opened cases on some 170 people linked to last week's insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, with many facing charges of sedition carrying up to 20 years in prison.

Of those cases, some 70 people have been charged, a figure that's expected to grow into the "hundreds," said Michael Sherwin, acting U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia.

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He and Steven D'Antuono, assistant director in charge of the FBI's Washington field office, provided an update Tuesday afternoon of the federal investigation into Wednesday's siege at the Capitol.

"The brutality the American people watched ... will not be tolerated by the FBI," D'Antuono said.

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He said the FBI has received more than 100,000 tips, photos and videos from the riot in which scores of President Donald Trump supporters breached a Capitol Police line and forced their way into the Capitol. Five people died, including one Capitol Police officer and four rioters.

Sherwin said authorities filed dozens of criminal complaints in the days since the riot -- many on minor charges. He said more serious charges will likely come once formal indictments are handed down.

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Sherwin said there will be a "mind-blowing" range of charges, including simple trespass and theft of mail, increasing in seriousness to murder, assault on federal officers and theft of potential national defense information.

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"We're looking at significant felony cases tied to sedition and conspiracy ... that have felonies with prison terms of up to 20 years," he said.

Task forces have been established to focus on cases involving weapons and destructive devices, assault and battery cases against officers, and assault cases against members of the media.

The FBI is seeking more information related to the siege and is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the suspect or suspects who built and left pipe bombs outside the offices of the Democratic and Republican National Committees' headquarters.

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"This is not going to be solved overnight," Sherwin said. "This is going to be a longterm investigation."

Donald Trump supporters breach Capitol, riot over election results

Supporters of President Donald Trump riot against the Electoral College vote count on Wednesday in protest of Trump's loss to President-elect Joe Biden, prompting a lockdown of the Capitol Building. Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo

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