It has been nearly a year since the Jan. 6 Capitol riot by supporters of former President Donald Trump that was labeled an attempted “coup” and “insurrection” by many elected Democrats and media pundits and has been the subject of intense investigation, arrests, and prosecutions by the Department of Justice (DOJ).
The DOJ released a year-end summary of the progress it has made thus far in holding to account those who breached the Capitol building grounds that day, but that summary falls well short of matching the “insurrection” rhetoric applied to the event, The Daily Wire reported.
Instead, of the more than 725 individuals arrested so far in relation to the Capitol unrest, more than 600 have been charged with only the misdemeanor offense of entering or remaining in a restricted area, and nobody has faced the sort of serious charges one might expect in an alleged “insurrection,” such as sedition or treason.
The Jan. 6 Capitol riot progress report from the DOJ was posted on social media in the form of a brief video that shared a few prosecutorial highlights.
— Justice Department (@TheJusticeDept) December 29, 2021
It noted that at least 220 individuals faced charges involving “assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers” and, of those, 75 were charged with using a dangerous or deadly weapon or causing injury while doing so. Another 10 individuals face charges related to attacking a member of the media or destroying media equipment.
As noted above, at least 625 defendants face misdemeanor charges of entering or remaining in a restricted federal area, and of those, 75 are charged with possessing a weapon while doing so, while 45 also face charges of destroying government property and 30 are also charged with theft of government property.
Then there are the 270 individuals charged with “corruptly obstructing, influencing, or impeding an official proceeding” — certification of the 2020 Electoral College vote — with 40 of those also facing charges of involvement in some sort of “conspiracy” with others to do so.
Finally, the DOJ noted that at least 145 defendants had already pleaded guilty, mostly to misdemeanor charges, and at least 45 of those individuals had already been sentenced, including at least 19 that actually received a sentence of incarceration.
Media not happy
Politico has been closely tracking the investigation, arrests, and prosecutions related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and seemed to lament, as per its leftward bias, the lack of serious criminal charges and lengthy prison sentences handed down thus far.
Indeed, while it was noted that some defendants facing serious charges and sentences were still awaiting adjudication, so far the majority have received low-level plea deals avoiding prison time, and those who have been sentenced to serve time have received an average sentence of about 45 days behind bars.
That could potentially change going forward, and those sentenced thus far for engaging in violence have received multi-year sentences, but if the results are any indication of what else can be expected, then the inflammatory rhetoric of “insurrection” will be proven to have been a bridge too far for prosecutors to cross.