Garland: Jan. 6 Probe Won’t End Until Everyone Who Committed Crimes Held Accountable

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.
March 10, 2022 Updated: March 10, 2022

The probe into the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol won’t be wrapped up “until we hold everyone accountable who committed criminal acts,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a new interview.

“This is the most urgent investigation in the history of the Justice Department. It’s the most resource-intensive,” Garland told National Public Radio, adding that some 140 federal prosecutors are working on prosecuting alleged wrongdoers in addition to FBI agents from every bureau office in the country.

Asked if prosecutors were halfway through the investigation, Garland said he wasn’t sure, but that federal workers were taking on the investigation 24 hours, seven days a week.

“We begin with the cases that are right in front of us, with overt actions, and then we build from there. That is a process that we will continue to build until we hold everyone accountable who committed criminal acts on Jan. 6,” he added.

Prosecutors have charged more than 775 people from nearly all 50 states in relation to the breach. Just this week, Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio was indicted, even though Tarrio wasn’t in Washington when the breach happened.

Charging documents say Tarrio obstructed an official proceeding and engaged in civil disorder by messaging members of his group, some of whom have been charged with crimes, and celebrating the breach on social media.

Also this week, a jury convicted the first Jan. 6 defendant to go on trial, agreeing he obstructed justice and committed other crimes, while a judge in another case tossed an obstruction charge, a ruling interpreted as “a very big deal” by one of the lawyers representing defendants.

Speaking to top Department of Justice officials in Washington on Thursday, Garland said the department under his leadership has worked “to protect the institutions of our democracy,” including “the enormous investigation we are doing with respect to the January 6th attack on the fundamental basis of our democracy, the peaceful transfer from one administration to another.”

“On the first day, when I spoke to all 115,000 employees, I said that we had three priorities: the first being to ensure rule of law; the second being to do everything we can to protect the American people from all threats, foreign and domestic; and the third to protect civil rights. Those are our priorities; those will continue to be the priorities of this department during my term of office,” he said.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.