Nearly 1,000 people have been charged to date, and a federal courthouse strains to handle what may be years more of trials.
The federal courthouse in Washington D.C. is facing the prospect of a large backlog of trials related to the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol. Law enforcement and judicial authorities are reportedly discussing how to manage the large volume of cases without overwhelming the courthouse, with charges possible against as many as 1,000 more people.
Some legal experts expect the Jan. 6 riot cases to last several years, with big criminal investigations that are far less complicated than this often taking several years to resolve. In addition to the riot cases, other branches of the investigation, such as the false elector's scheme, appear to be further along, indicating that the investigation is nearing the end of the fact-gathering phase.
Roughly 1,000 people have been arrested for their alleged roles in the events of that day, but the number of those charged with crimes related to Jan. 6 may be between 1,600 and 2,100 people, according to people familiar with the matter. The number does not include any charges resulting from the federal special counsel investigation into activities surrounding Trump allies’ efforts to use fake electors or other subterfuge to undo Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential victory.
Prosecutors are hoping that many of the defendants will plead guilty to help manage the crush of cases that have already strained the court in the nation’s capital. The Jan. 6 riot will likely be remembered as a dark moment in American history, highlighting the deep political divisions and societal challenges facing the country today.
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