U.S. Attorney General says investigations into the January 6 attack will continue “as long as it takes” to reach justice.
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has vowed to bring justice and accountability to the January 6 Capitol riot, as investigations continue before the one-year anniversary of the deadly attack.
Garland told a news conference on Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Justice would not concede. to persecute people who violated the law during what he described as an “unprecedented attack” on American democracy.
Ongoing investigations into the events of 6 January 2021, will continue “as long as it takes and whatever it takes for justice to happen,” Garland said. “Those involved must be held accountable. And there is no higher priority for us at the Department of Justice. ”
The Attorney General, who serves as the country’s top federal prosecutor, has also pledged to crack down on violence and threats of violence in public discourse while upholding the right to free speech.
“We do not investigate or prosecute people because of their views,” he told reporters. “Expressing a view or ideology peacefully – no matter how extreme – is protected by the First Amendment. But to illegally threaten to hurt or kill someone else is not. ”
Garland said the Department of Justice has charged more than 725 defendants in connection with the events of January 6 last year. The worst charges are reserved for people accused of assaulting police officers and engaging in planning to disrupt. the certification of President Joe Biden’s election victory, he explained.
“By this time, however, we have charged more than 325 defendants with crimes – many for assaulting officers, and many for corrupting, or attempting to obstruct an official proceedings,” Garland said. “Twenty accused charged with crimes have already pleaded guilty.”
A crowd of Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol building in Washington, DC, on January 6, after the former US president delivered a fire speech not far from the White House earlier in the day.
Trump has been falsely claiming for weeks that the US presidential election was violated by widespread fraud, and he urged his supporters to “fight like hellHours before the riot broke out. The U.S. House of Representatives later executed the Republican leader for “incitement to rebellion“.
Five people were killed during the January 6 attack, including a Trump supporter who was shot by a law enforcement officer after trying to cross into a restricted area within the Capitol. A police officer also suffered a fatal heart attack after confronting the rioters.
Steve Clemons, host of Al Jazeera’s The Bottom Line program, said “everything is politically toxic” in the US before the commemoration of the Capitol attack.
He said testimonies about what happened that day were extremely moving and evidence of “a national ulcer that is still unresolved”.
The head of the U.S. Capitol Police, J Thomas Manger, testified before a U.S. Senate committee on Wednesday as part of his ongoing hearings on oversight of the U.S. Capitol Police after the January 6 attack.
“To look at the footage of police officers being thrown against the wall, pinned to the wall, punched in the face, beaten with bats and sticks, it is extraordinary. “This has never happened before in modern American history,” Clemons said, adding that “a large portion of Americans do not pay attention.”
Apart from criminal investigations by the Department of Justice, a congress panel investigate the riot. The House Select Committee to investigate the January 6 attack on the United States capital zero in on many of Trump’s associates, looking for documents and testimonies.
The panel formally requested the cooperation of the conservative Fox News host on Tuesday Sean Hannity about text messages he exchanged with White House assistants after the November 2020 election.
“It seems that you have factual information that is directly relevant to the events of 6 January and the attack on the institutions of our democracy,” the committee leaders said in a letter to Hannity. “We have a duty to understand all the underlying facts, and to make legislative recommendations.”