Acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen, in a short video posted to YouTube Tuesday night, vowed that those involved in last week’s deadly riot on Capitol Hill would be brought to justice. It was his first statement on camera since the January 6 attack on the country’s seat of government.
In the approximately three-minute video, Rosen called the capture of the Capitol “an intolerable, shocking and tragic episode in our country’s history.” He briefly described the Justice Department’s response to the attack, noting that more than 70 suspects have already been criminally charged in connection with the attack.
“We have opened more than 170 investigations,” Rosen said. “The FBI has gathered over 100,000 digital tips from the public and there are many more to come. Those at fault will be held responsible. “
Democrats have criticized senior officials in the Trump administration for the lack of federal briefings following the attack, which left at least five dead. Neither Rosen nor President Donald Trump held a press briefing on the matter.
Two Department of Justice officials – Acting U.S. District of Columbia Attorney Mike Sherwin and Deputy Director of the FBI Washington Field Office Steven D’Antuono – held a media availability Tuesday. Both said they expected hundreds of people to be arrested in connection with the riot, but gave few details of their ongoing investigations.
In his video statement Tuesday, Rosen said he spoke “on several occasions with DOJ staff” as the insurgent mob stormed the Capitol and coordinated with his “counterparts in the United States. government ”and heard from House and Senate leaders. He did not say if he had spoken with Trump.
Rosen said the Justice Department would have “no tolerance” for any attempt to disrupt the Jan. 20 opening day.
“We will not tolerate any attempt to forcibly occupy government buildings. There will be no excuse for violence, vandalism or any other form of lawlessness, ”he said. “Everyone should understand one essential thing: The Department of Justice will seek to hold all offenders accountable to the fullest extent of the law. All criminals will be arrested and held to account. “
Federal, state and local officials across the country are on high alert following an FBI warning of further potential violence before and during the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
The Democratic-controlled House is expected to vote on Wednesday to impeach Trump for inciting an insurgency. If the vote is successful, it will be the first time that a US president has been impeached twice. Some Republicans – including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Third House Republican Liz Cheney of Wyoming – have expressed support for the impeachment.
Watch Rosen’s full statement below:
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