U.S. prosecutors on Friday sketched out the gargantuan scope of the investigation in the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, asking for courts to delay most cases by at least two months after being pressed by a handful of defendants and some judges to speed up trials and plea offers.
“The investigation and prosecution of the Capitol Attack will likely be one of the largest in American history, both in terms of the number of defendants prosecuted and the nature and volume of the evidence,” the U.S. attorney’s office in D.C. wrote in morning court filings in seeking a delay before turning over evidence to defendants.
In a sign of the hurdles facing the government, a judge on Friday ordered the release on bond of one of the highest-profile defendants, saying he did not see evidence that Thomas E. Caldwell of Virginia entered the Capitol or “that he was planning to do so that day.”
Charges have been brought against 312 people and are expected against at least 100 more, according to court officials and prosecutors.
Investigators have executed more than 900 electronic and physical search warrants, and amassed more than 15,000 hours of law enforcement surveillance and body-camera video, 1,600 electronic devices and 210,000 tips, prosecutors said.
With the volume of cases and evidence only growing, “the unusual complexity of the Capitol Attack investigation warrants” postponement, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn L. Rakoczy and others wrote in a filing Friday involving “key figure” Caldwell, who is charged with eight other alleged associates of the right-wing, anti-government Oath Keepers group.
There have been some Notably Rare Exceptions.
There was legitimate concern that the insurrectionists would be treated with kid gloves by prosecutors; fortunately, that doesn’t seem to be happening.