That evidence, they said, includes findings of more than 900 search warrants executed in nearly every state. It also includes more than 15,000 hours of surveillance and body-worn camera footage supplied by some of the 14 federal and local law enforcement agencies that participated in the Capitol response — from the FBI to the Secret Service to the Arlington, Va., police department.
Authorities are also combing through 1,600 electronic devices, conducting hundreds of searches of text messages from multiple providers, and reviewing 210,000 tips and 80,000 witness interviews.
The new filings amount to an effort by the Justice Department — a day after Attorney General Merrick Garland took the helm — to pump the brakes. Garland has described the investigation of the Capitol assault, when a violent mob of Donald Trump supporters, primed by the president’s baseless claim that the 2020 election was stolen, stormed past police lines and delayed Congress’ ceremonial counting of electoral votes.
Already, about 300 suspects have been charged — and at least another 100 are likely to be added, prosecutors say in the filings. Their alleged crimes range from easily provable trespass cases supported by video evidence to more complicated conspiracy allegations against paramilitary groups such as the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys. Federal officials have also indicated that graver crimes such as seditious conspiracy are possible.
Prosecutors said that to organize the evidence and make it available to suspects and their defense attorneys “will take time” and likely require the use of outside vendors to craft a system all sides agree on. And it will take even more time to deploy that system and upload evidence once it is constructed.
That’s why prosecutors say they need a 60-day delay in both simple and complex cases, such as the nine-defendant Oath Keepers conspiracy case, before proceeding to trial.
“The failure to grant such a continuance in this proceeding would be likely to make a continuation of this proceeding impossible, or result in a miscarriage of justice,” they wrote in a filing lodged Friday morning in the case of Jenny Cudd, a riot suspect from Texas.