By Michael Balsamo
WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday vowed to hold accountable anyone who was responsible for last year’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, whether they were physically there or not.
In a speech to Justice Department employees, Garland said prosecutors remained “committed to holding all January 6th perpetrators, at any level, accountable under law.”
His remarks come just shy of the one-year anniversary of the attack on the Capitol and as the Justice Department has faced increased pressure from some Democrats to focus more on actions that may have inspired the thousands of pro-Trump rioters to storm the building.
“We will follow the facts wherever they lead,” Garland said in his speech. “The actions we have taken thus far will not be our last.”
The investigation into the attack on the Capitol is the largest in the Justice Department’s history. So far, more than 700 people have been arrested and 350 others are still being sought by the FBI, including 250 of whom are accused of assaulting police officers.
Garland also detailed the serious assaults on law enforcement officers, describing in detail how officers were beaten and shocked with stun guns. During January’s riot, one officer was beaten and shocked with a stun gun repeatedly until he had a heart attack; another was foaming at the mouth and screaming for help as rioters crushed him between two doors and bashed him in the head with his own weapon.
“Those involved must be held accountable, and there is no higher priority for us at the Department of Justice,” Garland said.