Attorney General Merrick Garland testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, where he is defending the Justice Department’s actions in prosecuting those who participated in the Capitol attack.
“The violence we witnessed [on Jan. 6] was an intolerable assault, not only on the Capitol and the brave law enforcement personnel who sought to protect it, but also on a fundamental element of our democracy: the peaceful transfer of power,” Garland wrote in his opening statement, which was obtained by Axios.
“In response to that attack, the Justice Department has undertaken an extraordinary effort to ensure that the perpetrators of criminal acts on January 6 are held accountable,” he added.
“To date, 55 of 56 FBI field offices have opened investigations. Citizens from across the country have provided more than 200,000 digital media tips, and the FBI continues to request the public’s assistance in identifying individuals sought in connection to the January 6 attack. And in less than 300 days, approximately 650 defendants have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for their roles in the attack.”
Axios also reports that House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., also wrote a statement about the incidents at the Capitol for his opening remarks saying that “this growth in extremist ideology is echoed in an epidemic of violence and intimidation directed at our health care professionals, teachers, essential workers, school board members and election workers.”
Nadler adds: “There is a broader pattern here. In each of these cases — former President [Donald] Trump’s big lie, the rise in hate crimes against citizens of Asian descent, and the growing threats of violence against public servants — the same set of individuals have leveraged the same sorts of misinformation, stoked the same sorts of grievances and shown remarkably little interest in solving our problems.”