The US Department of Justice has launched more than 80 criminal cases related to violent riots on the United States Capitol on January 6.
US prosecutors now believe supporters of President Donald Trump planned to “capture and murder elected officials” during their siege on Capitol Hill last week, according to a new court filing.
The case, submitted by Department of Justice attorneys Thursday night, involved the detention of Jacob Chansley of Arizona, the QAnon conspiracy theorist who was pictured wearing horns standing at Vice President Mike Pence’s office in the bedroom of the US Senate.
“Strong evidence, including Chansley’s own words and actions on Capitol Hill, supports the intention of the rioters on Capitol Hill was to capture and assassinate US government officials,” prosecutors wrote.
The detention memo, written by attorneys for the Arizona Department of Justice, gives more details of the FBI’s investigation into Chansley, revealing he left a note in Pence warning that “this is only a matter of time, justice arrives ”.
A public defender representing Chansley could not be reached immediately for comment. Chansley is due in federal court on Friday.
The prosecutors’ assessment comes as they and federal agents began to lay more serious charges related to the violence on Capitol Hill, including Thursday’s revelation of a case against a man, retired firefighter Robert Sanford, accused of throwing a fire extinguisher at the head of a man. policeman and another, Peter Stager, for beating another policeman with a pole bearing an American flag.
In Chansley’s case, prosecutors said the charges “involved active participation in an insurgency aimed at violently overthrowing the United States government,” and warned that the “insurgency is still ongoing” as the forces of the Order are preparing for further protests in Washington, DC and state capitals. .
They also suggested he suffers from drug addiction and mental illness, and told the judge he was at serious flight risk.
“Chansley has spoken openly about his belief that he is an alien, a superior being, and he is here on Earth to ascend to another reality,” they wrote.
The Justice Department has filed more than 80 criminal cases in connection with the violent riots on the U.S. Capitol last week, in which Trump supporters stormed the building, ransacked offices and, in some case, attacked the police.
The file provides further insight into the FBI’s Chaos Day investigation, which left elected officials in hiding fearing for their lives and at least five people dead, including a police officer.
Many of those charged so far have been easily tracked down by the FBI, which has more than 200 suspects, largely through videos and photos posted on social media.
Michael Sherwin, the acting U.S. District Attorney for the District of Columbia, said while many of the initial charges may appear minor, he expects much more serious charges to be laid as the Justice Department continues its investigation. .
In a bipartisan vote, Trump was impeached on Wednesday for “inciting an insurgency” by pushing a huge crowd of his supporters to march on Congress.
The Washington, DC center was on lockdown early Friday as more than 20,000 armed National Guard troops were mobilized after officials warned of the threat of further violence during Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration on January 20, as well as in state capitals.