Justice Department considers NOT charging up to 800 MAGA rioters who caused havoc at the Capitol 'since most of them just trespassed and were not violent'
The FBI and prosecutors at the Justice Department are debating whether to decline to charge some of the MAGA rioters who stormed the United States Capitol on January 6 in an attempt to derail President Joe Biden's certification.
There is concern among DOJ officials that bringing charges against all of the estimated 800 rioters who ransacked the Capitol building could flood the local federal courthouse in Washington, DC, with cases.
There have been internal discussions about forgoing charges against those who were not involved in any violence or vandalism but were simply trespassing or 'going along with the crowd,' The Washington Post reported.
But the Post report indicates that those talks are only in their early stages and no decisions have been made.
DOJ and FBI officials are mindful of the fact that declining to charge rioters could be perceived as the federal government condoning political violence and unlawful behavior.
Those who support bringing charges against all of the rioters argue that doing so would bring a measure of deterrence that would make others think twice about engaging in similar acts in the future, according to the Post.
But there is no denying that the workload that will inevitably accumulate by charging hundreds of people will increase the burden on DOJ and FBI agents who have already indicted more than 135 suspects.
In 2019, the DC federal courts tried about 430 criminal cases. Last year, that number fell to fewer than 300 due to the pandemic.
'There is absolute resolve from the Department of Justice to hold all who intentionally engaged in criminal acts at the Capitol accountable,' a Justice Department spokesperson told the Post.
'We have consistently made clear that we will follow the facts and evidence and charge individuals accordingly.
'We remain confident that the US District Court for Washington, DC can appropriately handle the docket related to any resulting charges.'
There appears to be unanimous agreement among Justice Department officials to bring charges against alleged extremists who are suspected of coordinating and planning violent actions inside the Capitol.
Prosecutors have indicated that they intend to bring seditious conspiracy charges to anyone who has been found to plot violent actions against the government.