U.S. will hold all involved in Capitol attack accountable, Garland says

Capitol Riots

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 05: U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks at the Department of Justice on January 5, 2022 in Washington, DC. Garland addressed the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol. (Photo by Carolyn Kaster-Pool/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday vowed to hold accountable anyone who was involved in the deadly Jan. 6 attached on the Capitol attack by former President Donald Trump’s supporters.

The Justice Department, headed by Garland, has charged more than 720 people with crimes arising from the riot ranging from disorderly conduct to assaulting police to conspiracy. Of those people, about 165 have pleaded guilty, and at least 70 have been sentenced.

“The Justice Department remains committed to holding all January 6th perpetrators, at any level, accountable under law – whether they were present that day or were otherwise criminally responsible for the assault on our democracy,” Garland said in a speech.

“We will follow the facts wherever they lead,” added Garland, the top U.S. law enforcement official.

A mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in a failed bid to derail the formal congressional certification of his 2020 election loss to President Joe Biden.

Garland appeared to address criticism leveled against him by some Democrats who have said he has not been aggressive enough in the Justice Department investigation. However, Garland said his department’s work is far from over.

“I understand that this may not be the answer some are looking for,” Garland said. “But we will and we must speak through our work. Anything else jeopardizes the viability of our investigations and the civil liberties of our citizens.”

High-profile criminal cases brought so far include several against members or associates of far-right groups such as the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters.

A Democratic-led House of Representatives select committee separately is investigating the attack. Steve Bannon, Trump’s former White House chief strategist, has been charged with contempt of Congress for refusing to appear for a deposition and refusing to produce documents sought by the House committee.

“I think Merrick Garland has been extremely weak, and I think there should be a lot more of the organizers of Jan. 6 that should be arrested by now,” Democratic U.S. congressman Ruben Gallego told CNN on Tuesday.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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