The U.S. military leadership denounced the storming of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob as a plot to overthrow the government, while federal prosecutors looked at more than 160 cases, including sedition charges, the Wall Street Journal reports. Washington grappled with security concerns and violence threats from extremist Trump supporters centered around next week’s inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy is allowing National Guard members sent to Washington through next week’s presidential inauguration to carry weapons. The Joint Chiefs of Staff and the heads of U.S. military branch called the Jan. 6 assault “a direct assault on the U.S. Congress, the Capitol building, and our constitutional process.”
Michael Sherwin, acting U.S. Attorney in Washington, stressed the unprecedented nature of the investigation under way into whether rioters were part of well-organized groups that planned Wednesday’s deadly attack. “We’re looking at and treating this just like a significant international counterterrorism or counterintelligence operation,” he said. FBI official Steven D’Antuono said the bureau has received more than 100,000 videos and other forms of digital media related to the attacks that it is combing through for leads. Federal prosecutors have filed charges against at least two dozen members of the mob—including the son of a Brooklyn judge and a military veteran who brought plastic zip-tie restraints to the Capitol—on charges ranging from gun crimes to assault and theft. The new details came as law enforcement agencies scrutinize their response to the events of Jan. 6 and their planning for demonstrations that have been called for Sunday and Inauguration Day.