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Federal Criminal Law: January 6, 2021, Unrest at the Capitol

CRS Legal Sidebar via LC: Federal Criminal Law: January 6, 2021, Unrest at the Capitol: “On January 6, 2021,a crowd gathered on the U.S. Capitol grounds, breached police barriers, entered the Capitol building, occupied portions of the building for an extended period of time, and clashed with law enforcement, resulting in at least five deaths,dozens of injuries, and damage to federal property. Multiple participants in the unrest allegedly carried firearms and used flag poles and other objects as weapons,and explosive devices were discovered on or near the Capitol complex. Members of Congress and the Vice President, who were in the process of fulfilling their constitutional duty of counting the 2020 presidential election electoral votes,were forced to evacuate in response to the unrest. In its wake, observers have speculated about the nature and scope of criminal charges that might be brought against a number of the individuals involved. Indeed, the first charges have already been filed in federal and D.C. Superior Court. That said, investigations are ongoing and additional charges are expected. An array of federal,District,and state criminal statutes could have been violated during the unrest, although identifying every potentially applicable statute would be difficult given the breadth and diversity of the activity and the resultant complexity of the investigations…”

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