The number of DOJ arrests has since risen to roughly 1,000. The department’s estimate of the remaining cases corresponds roughly with the number of individuals that officials have estimated entered the U.S. Capitol during the riot, somewhere between 2,000 to 2,500 people.
The current number of arrests and prosecutions has strained resources at the DOJ, federal public defender’s office, and court system. DOJ officials have made clear in public statements that the department is committed to seeing every potential case through.
“In the months and years to come, the FBI Washington Field Office will continue to partner with U.S. attorney’s offices across the country to bring to justice those who attempted to use violence to substitute their will over the will of the people,” David Sundberg, assistant director in charge of the FBI Washington Field Office, said in a January statement.
Most federal crimes have a statute of limitations of five years.
News of the October letter comes after Fox News host Tucker Carlson received 41,000 hours of footage of the Capitol on January 6. Carlson broadcast some of the video earlier this month showing the crowd inside the U.S. Capitol. The Fox News host challenged the portrayal of what happened that day by the House January 6 Committee and the media.
“A small percentage of them were hooligans. But the overwhelming majority weren’t. They were peaceful. They were orderly and meek. These were not insurrectionists – they were sightseers,” Carlson said.
Most of the footage given to Carlson has been available to defense attorneys representing clients charged over the events of January 6. The enormous volume of video may pose too great a challenge for defense teams to view thoroughly, however.
“Gov. gives me 14,000 hours of video and says ‘Your client is captured on that video.’ Are you suggesting I need to watch video 24 hours a day for 583 days in order to do my job?” William Shipley, who is representing the “QAnon Shaman” Jacob Chansley in his trial over January 6, said in a recent post on Twitter.
The FBI said in January that it had compiled and reviewed more than 30,000 files of video footage from law enforcement, cell phones, and other sources. The files amount to nine terabytes of information, and it would take at least 361 days to view all of it if it were played 24 hours a day.