1.  Seditious Conspiracy  
—  It’s a crime for two or more people to agree to try — they don’t have to actually accomplish their illegal objective — to interfere with the central functions of our government. The statute specifically contemplates that it’s a crime to delay or hinder the enforcement of laws, and since the goal on Wednesday was to prevent Congress from formalizing President-elect Joe Biden’s win, it’s possible that on the more serious end of the spectrum, we could see charges of seditious conspiracy, which carry a 20-year maximum sentence.

2.  Solicitation  —  Solicitation is a crime that involves procuring another person to commit a crime for you. The federal statute is limited to solicitation of crimes that involve the use of force against people or property. We saw plenty of that on Wednesday. The key issue here is likely to be whether there is evidence that anyone involved in the pro-Trump rally Wednesday morning or earlier efforts to get people to Washington, D.C., for the day intended that they would overrun and damage the Capitol building rather than engaging in peaceful assembly and protest. If prosecutors secure evidence of intent, which could be available, for instance, in the form of prior statements captured on videotape, anyone who “solicit[ed], command[ed], induce[d], or otherwise endeavor[ed] to persuade” other people to participate in the insurrection could be sentenced to up to half as much time as the sentence the law provides for the crimes that were committed.

3.  Homicide & Assault  —  There are a range of federal provisions that could apply here, depending on the evidence prosecutors develop. Already, we’ve seen the horrible shooting death of a rioter, the violent death of a Capitol police officer and the torture of another officer, who was slammed between closing doors by rioters. 

If the deaths are prosecuted under federal law, which is likely because they occurred in the Capitol building and in at least one case involved a federal officer, the charges will be for murder if there was malice aforethought. That means either an intent to kill or a depraved disregard for human life that led to the death. 

This type of charge seems most likely given what we already know, although there are lesser charges involving manslaughter available if death results from the heat of passion, extreme carelessness or some other circumstance that doesn’t rise to the level of murder. The most serious form of murder would involve premeditation in advance of the killing and would subject a person convicted of the crime to capital punishment or life in prison.

It’s also likely that there will be assault charges against people who threatened and attacked others. Assault with a deadly weapon, which could include the use of items we don’t typically think of as weapons in a way likely to inflict serious injury, is a possible charge. Slamming doors repeatedly against a police officer or attacking with flag poles and other items people carried into the Capitol could qualify. Assault with a deadly weapon carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.

Again, depending on the evidence that develops, there is a broad range of charges prosecutors may consider. It is a crime to conspire or attempt to kill or kidnap a member of Congress. Entering into a conspiracy to do so, even if the crime itself is not completed, could lead to a sentence of up to life in prison. It’s also a crime to convey an interstate threat to kidnap or harm an individual, and charges in this regard have already been filed against one man in connection with a threat against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

4.  Possession of Firearms & Explosives  —  Prosecutors in the District of Columbia have already brought charges against an Alabama man for “possession of an unregistered firearm (destructive device) and carrying a pistol without a license.” Because it’s illegal to possess a firearm in the District, it’s likely that we’ll see many more local charges like this. In addition, certain categories of people, for instance those with previous felony convictions, are prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law and could be subject to charges on that basis.

On the most serious end of the spectrum here, bombs were found at the Democratic National Committee and Republican Nation Committee headquarters on Wednesday. Identifying the person or people responsible will be a high priority for law enforcement. They will want to make sure no additional bombs remain in circulation and that any materials or facilities used for bombmaking are confiscated and rendered safe. Even absent charges of a scheme to use the bombs in an attack, it’s a crime to transport or receive explosives knowing they’re intended to harm people or property. Anyone who commits this crime can be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.

5.  Interstate Travel in Aid of Racketeering  —  Federal law prohibits travel in interstate commerce to conduct or promote criminal activity. As news spread on Wednesday, U.S. Attorneys across the country took to Twitter to commit to prosecuting anyone who traveled from their districts to Washington, D.C., to commit crimes. Travel to commit a crime of violence carries a penalty of up to 20 years, while lesser violations of the statute are punishable by up to five years of custody.

6.  Restricted-Area Violations  —  Federal law prohibits engaging in violence toward people or property within “a restricted building or grounds,” or entering the building or grounds with the intent to disrupt government business. There is a panoply of charges ranging from entering or remaining in a restricted area without permission to doing so to impede government business. Prosecutors in D.C. have already begun to charge people with entering and remaining in restricted areas, a misdemeanor charge that carries a sentence of up to one year in prison. Custody of up to 10 years is authorized if perpetrators use or carry a deadly weapon or if anyone is seriously injured in connection with the offense.

7.  Local D.C. Vandalism & Trespassing Provisions  —  Prosecutors have already begun to charge violations of local D.C. laws in superior court, including unlawful entry, curfew violations and firearms-related crimes. These types of violations will be reserved for the least culpable participants on Wednesday.

Expect to see prosecutors use the full range of statutes available to them to hold people accountable. Inquiry into who was responsible for organizing events, who funded travel and other activity essential to Wednesday’s insurrection, and what they intended to accomplish, is only beginning to take place and we don’t yet know where it will lead. But the absence of a statute that is specific to domestic terrorism will not impede prosecutors’ progress, given the range of offenses that appear to apply, based simply on what we’ve seen in the press. It’s also important to note that the statutory sentences discussed here are ceilings, the maximum sentences federal judges can impose. Under sentencing guidelines, actual sentences are often significantly lower.

Robust investigation and prosecution is critical to creating accountability for this unprecedented attack on the republic. Important goals of the criminal justice system, including incapacitating people who are dangerous to others and deterring future criminal conduct, are at stake. Free speech is among the most sacred rights in our democracy. But when language spills over into violence and the peaceful transfer of power in our country becomes the target of an angry mob, we have to hold wrongdoers accountable.

8.  Hundreds Due To Be Charged in Federal Court Following Riot at the Capitol  —

—  “The lawless destruction of the US Capitol building was an attack against one of our Nation’s greatest institutions,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin. “My Office, along with our law enforcement partners at all levels, have been expeditiously working and leveraging every resource to identify, arrest, and begin prosecuting these individuals who took part in the brazen criminal acts at the U.S. Capitol. We are resolute in our commitment to holding accountable anyone responsible for these disgraceful criminal acts, and to anyone who might be considering engaging in or inciting violence in the coming weeks – know this: you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

—  “ATF is committed to the rule of law and the protection of all citizens’ Constitutional rights,” said Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Deputy Director Regina Lombardo. “We continue to support our law enforcement partners to ensure those who violated the law during the events at the Capitol this week are brought to justice. ATF has dedicated all appropriate resources to complete these investigations as soon as possible.”

—  “Today’s charges are just the beginning of the FBI’s ongoing efforts to hold those responsible for the criminal acts of violence and destruction that unfolded during the US Capitol building breach on January 6th,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “To be clear, what took place that day was not First Amendment-protected activity, but rather an affront on our democracy. The FBI, along with our local, state and federal partners, is committed to ensuring that justice is served. We will continue to aggressively investigate each and every individual who chose to ignore the law and instead incite violence, destroy property, and injure others.”

—  “Deputy U.S. Marshals responded to support U.S. Capitol Police after the incursion into the Capitol building. Our deputies helped to clear the building and escorted members of Congress back to the main chamber for official business,” said U.S. Marshals Service Director Donald Washington. “US Marshals will now bring to bear our fugitive investigations expertise to ensure that individuals charged in federal warrants are brought to face justice. Respect for the rule of law is a foundational principle for our democracy and the freedoms that it provides.  Unlawful acts will not go unpunished.”
Here is a list of current cases by Lae Enforcement.

FBI Seeking Information Related to Violent Activity at the U.S Capitol Building

Thank you for your interest in submitting digital media tips to the FBI regarding violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. At this stage of the investigation, all electronic tips are being routed to If you have photo or video images to share depicting rioting and violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, please note that in the electronic tip form. Please include in your tips as much information as possible, such as the name of the person, contact information—including where that person may live—the number associated with the individual if seen on one of the Seeking Information posters, and any other identifying information. Our goal is to preserve the public’s constitutional right to protest by protecting everyone from violence and other criminal activity.

  • Submit a tip online at
  • View news, posters, and related information at 
  • The cases are being prosecuted by the U.S Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and are being investigated jointly by the FBI; U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; United States Marshals Service; U.S. Capitol Police Department; and the Metropolitan Police Department.
  • The ATF and FBI continue to urge the public to report suspected use of explosive devices, or violent, destructive acts associated with the recent unrest. Anyone with information can call 1-888-ATF-TIPS (1-888-283-8477), email or submit information anonymously via
  • The FBI is looking for individuals who may have incited or promoted violence of any kind. Anyone with digital material or tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or submit images or videos at
  • The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. Then can we hang them as traitors?
  • Follow The Money  —  US Attorneys in Ohio, Minnesota, Kentucky and other states have also pledged to prosecute anyone who travelled from their regions to take part in the riot.   New details about how some of the rioters, or organisers of the assault, may have financed their operations have also been revealed by a cryptocurrency data firm, Chainalysis. According to the firm, a number of far-right activists received hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments in Bitcoin before the assault on the Capitol.