U.S. attorneys throughout the nation are proclaiming their intention to prosecute any citizens who they can prove traveled to the U.S. Capitol Wednesday to commit “criminal” acts.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota, led by Erica MacDonald, tweeted a statement early Thursday morning following the riot at the U.S. Capitol building. Her office announced its plan to prosecute Minnesotans “to the fullest extent of the law” if it can be verified that they took part in the “storming” of the Capitol.
MacDonald’s tweet states: “The storming of our Nation’s Capitol building is not protest — it’s despicable, disrespectful and a violation of federal law. If we can prove you traveled from MN to DC to commit violent criminal acts, then you will be prosecuted by [the U.S. attorney] to the fullest extent of the law.”
The storming of our Nation’s Capital building is not protest- it’s despicable, disrespectful and a violation of federal law. If we can prove you travelled from MN to DC to commit violent criminal acts, then you will be prosecuted by @DMNnews to the fullest extent of the law.
— U.S. Attorney MN (@DMNnews) January 7, 2021
A joint press release from Erica MacDonald and FBI special agent Michael Paul, who is in charge of the investigation, reiterates MacDonald’s intention to “uphold the rule of law” and “hold accountable any individual who traveled … to commit illegal, violent acts.”
The press release calls for tips and information to be given to the FBI in order to support their search in “identifying individuals who are actively instigating violence in Washington, DC.”
Several other U.S. attorneys are tweeting similar messages. Justin Herdman, U.S. attorney for Northern Ohio, made it known that even though his time in office is almost up, he will do everything in his power to track down and prosecute any Ohio citizens who “committed federal crimes” at the Capitol.
I have two days left on this job. I can go with very little sleep in that remaining time. If these people, or anyone else who committed federal crimes at the Capitol today, are from Northern Ohio, you are going to be held accountable before I leave office. Coffee is brewing… https://t.co/N0K73tC7Wr
— U.S. Attorney Herdman (@USAttyHerdman) January 6, 2021
R. Trent Shores, U.S. attorney for Oklahoma, also tweeted his intent to prosecute his district’s citizens who can be proven to have “traveled to DC to commit these violent criminal acts,” calling them “domestic enemies.”
I join w/ my colleagues who pledged the same for their districts: if anyone from Northern Oklahoma traveled to DC to commit these violent criminal acts then they’ll be prosecuted by the @USAO_NDOK. We take an oath to protect the Constitution against all enemies foreign & domestic https://t.co/THSP8Y1iuw
— US Attorney Shores (@USAttyShores) January 6, 2021
Another U.S. attorney, Robert Duncan Jr. of Eastern Kentucky, aligned himself with his colleagues, professing in a tweet, “We are sworn to protect the Constitution and uphold the law.”