Washington: Members of the Democratic Party have demanded more information from the leaders of the US Department of Justice regarding what the department is doing to investigate and prosecute the attack on Capitol Hill including the role of outgoing President Donald Trump’s role in the attack.
At least five people have died in Wednesday’s riot including a police officer while dozens have been arrested.
“We write to request an immediate and urgent briefing on the steps the Federal Bureau of Investigation is taking to investigate and pursue for prosecution the instigation, planning, and execution of the deadly terrorist attack on the United States Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, by President Donald Trump, his supporters and outside groups,” Democratic leaders said in a letter on Thursday to Christopher A. Wray, director of the FBI as quoted by The New York Times (NYT).
NYT further reported that a Justice Department spokesman on Saturday said that the department has received a separate request from the US Congress for information pertaining to the riot and is working to fulfil it.
On the issue of Jeffrey A. Rosen, the acting attorney general, briefing lawmakers, the spokesperson said that no decision had yet been made and that officials who were present on the ground during the riots could be made available.
Trump’s role in the riot underpins the articles of impeachment that House Democrats have drawn up, accusing the President of inciting an insurrection.
The US attorney in Washington had initially refused to rule out investigating Trump’s role in the riot but a day later, one of his deputies reversed his statement during a news conference. “Don’t expect any charges of that nature,” Ken Kohl, a top prosecutor in the office, told reporters on Friday as quoted by NYT.
In their letter to Wray, House Democratic leaders — including the heads of the Oversight, Judiciary, Homeland Security, Intelligence and Armed Services committees — said that Trump incited his supporters to travel to Washington and menace members of Congress.
NYT reported that the letter cited a statement that Trump made on Twitter last month and comments he made at a rally just before the rioters stormed the Capitol: “We got to get rid of the weak Congresspeople, the ones that aren’t any good,” he said, telling his followers to “if you don’t fight like Hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
Near the end of his speech, he told his supporters, “We’re going [to] walk down to the Capitol.”
“You’ll never take back our country with weakness,” he added. “You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.”
Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Friday night that if Trump does not resign she has directed the Rules Committee to quickly take up a motion to impeach Trump as well as legislation to create a commission that can declare that the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
Chaotic and violent scenes erupted at the Capitol on Wednesday as supporters of Trump stormed the building to protest the Electoral College vote, forcing a lockdown and confrontations with the police.