Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday said that the Justice Department has arrested 500 people thus far amid its investigation into the Jan. 6 insurrection.
“We have now crossed the threshold of 500 arrests, including the 100th arrest of a defendant on charges of assaulting a federal law enforcement officer,” Garland said in a statement Thursday.
Garland noted that the Justice Department arrested its first defendant on charges that include assaulting a member of the news media on Jan. 6. Shane Jason Woods, a 43-year-old man from Illinois, was charged with federal offenses earlier Thursday for allegedly pushing a Capitol Police officer — who had been allegedly sprayed with bear mace — to the ground and having “ran into and tackled” a cameraman outside the Capitol, “causing him to fall and drop his camera,” according to the Justice Department.
Garland praised investigators and prosecutors who have worked to track down those involved in the mob that attacked the Capitol and endangered the lives of lawmakers as well as former Vice President Mike Pence on the day of the joint session of Congress certifying Joe Biden’s electoral college victory.
“I could not be more proud of the extraordinary effort by investigators and prosecutors to hold accountable those who engaged in criminal acts that day,” Garland said. “Particular credit goes to those serving as prosecutors and agents in Washington, D.C., as well as those in FBI field offices and U.S. Attorney’s Offices across the country, and with the Department’s National Security Division.”
Garland said that the Justice Department has received more than 200,000 digital tips from the public thus far, and vowed to charge more alleged perpetrators of the Capitol attack if evidence supports their involvement.
Garland’s statement was issued hours after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced the formation of a select committee to investigate the deadly Capitol insurrection that then-President Trump helped incite. Pelosi’s announcement came four weeks after Senate Republicans used the filibuster to kill the commission bill that would have established an independent and bipartisan 9/11-style panel investigating the Capitol insurrection.