DOJ Official: No ‘Direct Evidence’ of Plot to Kidnap, Kill Lawmakers in Capitol Riot

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: A protester is seen hanging from the balcony in the Senate Chamber on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. Pro-Trump protesters have entered the U.S. Capitol …
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Michael Sherwin, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, said Friday that there is no “direct evidence” to suggest rioters planned to capture or assassinate lawmakers during last week’s deadly siege of the U.S. Capitol.

“We don’t have any direct evidence of kill capture teams,” Sherwin told reporters during a press briefing.

Reuters notes:

The comments by Acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin appeared to be an effort to walk back claims federal prosecutors in Arizona had made in a court filing late on Thursday, in which they alleged there was evidence that rioters intended “to capture and assassinate elected officials.” […] [F]ederal prosecutors had made sweeping claims about the ongoing investigation in a filing as they asked a judge to detain Jacob Chansley, an Arizona man and QAnon conspiracy theorist photographed wearing horns as he stood at the desk of Vice President Mike Pence in the chamber of the U.S. Senate.

As of Friday, 98 criminal prosecutions have been made in connection to the riot, while 275 people are under investigation, according to Sherwin.

During another part of the news conference, FBI official Steven D’Antuono called on suspects linked to the riot to immediately turn themselves in to law enforcement.

“To those of you who took part in the violence, here’s something you should know: Every FBI field office in the country is looking for you,” D’Antuono stated. “As a matter of fact, even your friends and family are tipping us off.”

Earlier Friday, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) called on “every American” to reflect on reports that the rioters intended to kidnap or kill lawmakers.

“That’s wrong. Every American needs to understand what the Department of Justice has just made public: Investigators have strong evidence to suggest that some of the rioters who stormed the United States Capitol planned to kidnap and possibly assassinate the Vice President,” Sasse said in a statement obtained by The Hill.

Sasse has yet to weigh in on Sherwin’s statement.


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