“Just yesterday our office organized a strike unit of senior national security prosecutors and prosecutors for corruption,” he added. “Your only marching orders from me are to bring seditious and conspiratorial charges in connection with the most heinous acts in the Capitol.”
Sherwin said that more than 70 people have already been prosecuted and that he expected that number to grow “geometrically”.
“I assume that this number will grow to hundreds,” said the prosecutor. “Only the range of cases we’re looking at is staggering.”
Sherwin described some of the early, less serious charges against those involved in the riot, in which five people, including a Capitol police officer, died, as placeholders that would eventually grow into much more serious charges. He also said some of the behaviors that received widespread public attention – like the man who sat in Spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi’s chair and stole a piece of mail – only scratched the surface of the crime that was taking place. Additional, non-public information will be “shocking” if it comes out, he said.
Prosecutors also noted that federal authorities viewed the January 6 investigation as the equivalent of a counter-terrorism or counter-espionage investigation, and invested massive resources in efforts to track the perpetrators’ finances, communications and movements.
Sherwin noted that on Monday the prosecution began bringing cases to a grand jury in Washington. Two charges have already been made public, including one indicting a federal riot act for interfering with the police in the midst of “civil disorder”.
The intensity of the investigation comes from the fact that federal officials warn of the potential for further violence ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
Sherwin also mentioned that journalists were attacked by some of the violent actors and that a separate task force of prosecutors had been set up to investigate these incidents.
“Some of these rioters targeted and attacked media representatives,” he said.
Sherwin insisted that more disturbing evidence be released as a number of stunning videos have already been played on TV and online.
“I think there is a lot of misunderstanding about what happened in the Capitol,” said the veteran prosecutor. “I think people will be shocked by some of the tremendous contacts that have taken place.”