US Capitol riot investigation: Was the attack planned? | DW News

As Senate Democrats in the United States gear up for Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial in a week’s time, the former President has until Tuesday to formally respond to the charge against him. He is accused of inciting the deadly insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th. Meanwhile, the investigation into the riot itself continues. Scores of people have already been arrested in what is amounting to a probe of unparalleled scope. DW correspondent Stefan Simons reports from Washington.
Fierce and diehard supporters of Donald Trump scaling the walls of the U.S. Capitol – images showing what is now called an attack on Democracy, an insurrection and failed coup attempt in which five people died, still causes disbelief and concern, shock and anxiety for millions of Americans today.
But just hours after the storming of Capitol Hill on January 6th, federal authorities started multiple investigations into how exactly this happened, and who is responsible for it all.
Almost four weeks after the attack on capitol hill this fence and the barb wore are pretty much the only visible signs and reminders of what had happened on January here. But behind the curtains and behind the doors the investigation on what happened and who is responsible for this is in full gear.
Hundreds of FBI agents, at headquarters in Washington and from dozens of field offices all across the U.S. are following thousands of leads. Federal agents are sifting through an unprecedented amount of evidence – including at least 200 thousand digital tip-offs from various social media platforms.
At least 300 people are under active investigation and at least 150 have been arrested so far.
Officials say this was just the first phase of what they say is an investigation of unprecedented scope.
The investigation will shift a little bit from low hanging fruit of people, let’s say who filmed themselves attacking and getting into the Capitol, committing one crime or another: it will shift now into a more complex and complicated way. Why is that? Because now the FBI will look into conspiracy, into organization and organized crime. How much was organized of the attack? What was the level of sophistication in preparing for the attack and who was involved?
Federal authorities say they are in for the long haul when it comes to their investigations and answering these and other questions.
Back on Capitol Hill– the temporary fence surrounding much of it, will perhaps also remain for longer than originally planned.
The interim chief of the Capitol police wants it to become a permanent fixture.


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