An Inventory of the January 6 Investigation on Merrick Garland’s First Day

Overnight on the day that Merrick Garland got his first briefing on the January 6 investigation, DOJ asked for a 60-day extension of time in the Oath Keepers’s conspiracy case. As part of the motion, they cite what has been done on the investigation so far. That inventory includes:

  • Over 900 search warrants, executed in almost all fifty states and the District of Columbia
  • More than 15,000 hours of surveillance and body-worn camera footage from multiple law enforcement agencies
  • Approximately 1,600 electronic devices
  • The results of hundreds of searches of electronic communication providers
  • Over 210,000 tips, of which a substantial portion include video, photo and social media
  • Over 80,000 reports and 93,000 attachments related to law enforcement interviews of suspects and witnesses and other investigative steps
  • Involvement of 14 law enforcement agencies, including:
    • U.S. Capitol Police
    • DC Metropolitan Police Department
    • FBI
    • DHS
    • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
    • US Secret Service
    • US Park Police
    • Virginia State Police
    • Arlington County Police Department
    • Prince William County Police Department
    • Maryland State Police
    • Montgomery County Police Department
    • Prince George’s County Police Department

As the filing lays out, the government and the DC Public Defender’s office are trying to set up a system making available the general set of evidence to all defendants, while providing more specific evidence directly to the defendant. Some of that has started in this case.

The government has already provided defense counsel with preliminary discovery, including: arrest paperwork; recordings of custodial interviews, where available; paperwork and photographs relating to premises search warrants; data extracted from several of the defendants’ cellular telephones and social media accounts; some defendants’ hotel records; and some photographs and video recordings, from publicly available sources, of the defendants participating in the alleged offenses.

But most of the defendants in this case have already opposed a continuance, including Donovan Crowl, Kelly and Connie Meggs, Graydon Young, and Thomas Caldwell.

Not only must they be aware that others will get added to the conspiracy, broadening the scope of their potential criminal exposure under the conspiracy. But the government also clearly envisions the potential of more charges (possibly including seditious conspiracy).

Some of the conspiratorial activity being investigated, such as the activity under investigation in this matter, involves a large number of participants. The spectrum of crimes charged and under investigation in connection with the Capitol Attack includes (but is not limited to) trespass, engaging in disruptive or violent conduct in the Capitol or on Capitol grounds, destruction of government property, theft of government property, assaults on federal and local police officers, firearms offenses, civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, possession and use of destructive devices, and conspiracy. [my emphasis]

Given Amit Mehta’s inclinations in any case, he might grant the continuance but put several of the defendants on home detention. We’ll know more about his inclinations at a hearing at 3.

45 replies
  1. Frank Anon says:

    It still appears to me that many defendants believe Trump, or the fellow travelers of Trump will expedite their release(s), and there is very little cognizance of the depth of s*it these people actually are in. Why else would they want to speed up the trial timeline unless you expect a pardon, or something equally delusional

    • bmaz says:

      No, there will be no pardons, and no defendant believes there will be. The continuances are being opposed because defense attys are inclined to think it in their clients’ interest to push the government to shit or get off the pot. That may may be the right call if they want out. Under §3161 the defendant can so demand, especially if they are in custody.

      • Peterr says:

        The “especially if they are in custody” is the key part here, I think. Those whose request for bail and pre-trial release were denied do not want to spend any more time in jail before the case is even heard than they have to.

  2. PeterS says:

    I was interested to read that “The investigation continues and the government expects that at least one hundred additional individuals will be charged”. I acknowledge the “at least” but this suggests we won’t see another 500 individuals charged.

  3. joel fisher says:

    One would hope the Justice Department took a good look at itself and determined how many of the 800+ potential Defendants they could prosecute per unit of time without looking like Lucy and Ethel wrapping candy. They have 5 years after all.

  4. Summertime Blues says:

    Could anyone weigh in regarding the applicability of RICO statutes to the January 6th insurrection as an act of Terrorism? As a layperson it’s difficult to parse some of the legal issues. Presumably it would be cited in charging documents if it were applicable, or can they be amended to include additional charges. Whether RICO or other additional charges it would seem expanding the pool of evidence and the risk of defendants turning would motivate defense attorneys to push for an early trial.

        • obsessed says:

          Update: Okay, looks like the answer further down in the comments: It’s never RICO!

          Original Questions: Every time RICO comes up with regard to any Emptywheel-calibre scandal, the people who seem most knowledgeable laugh it off, and so far, they’ve been batting 1.000 (almost 4 times above Bill Mazeroski’s lifetime average), but with both Vance and Fani Willis having hired RICO specialists, and Willis’s past successful use of the statute:

          1. Might we be inching into single digit probabilities?
          2. Or are these two just having the same sort of wet RICO-dreams that the rest of suffer from?
          3. Or do you think they have no intention of trying to use it and the fact that they or members of their teams have on other cases has no bearing on the current ones?

          Follow-up question: If you think there’s a non-zero chance of RICO being used, would it be more likely in DC, Fulton or NYC?

      • TooLoose LeTruck says:

        Don’t the conspiracy charges so many of these buffoons are getting hit with pretty much serve the purpose people are hoping RICO charges would?

        (In a broad sense…)

        • TooLoose LeTruck says:


          That’s what I thought…

          I figured there’s a reason so many people keep bringing RICO! RICO! RICO! up in regards to the events of the 6th…

          It seems like they’re seeing a conspiratorial quality to what happened and that makes them think RICO!

          And I’m guessing that getting hit w/ a conspiracy charge is serious enough on its own, no?

          Thank you!

        • Summertime Blues says:

          RICO is an attractive charge to the layperson because it allows for civil suits with treble damages as well as criminal charges. The application of the statute, as well as the difficulty in prosecuting it is an unknown to those that are unfamiliar with its use in a courtroom. The general sense is that its highly punitive, and one would want to avoid being charged with it at almost any cost. As a result RICO = make the bastards pay to those outside the legal profession even though the statute may not be applicable.

        • TooLoose LeTruck says:

          My understanding of RICO is rather rudimentary… I believe I did get slapped, quite some time ago, for mentioning it here in a context similar to this one…

          As Bmaz’s reply to my question confirms, I, and others who have also mentioned it here, were inclined to bring RICO up due to what we saw as the conspiratorial quality of so much of what’s happening here…

          I’m guessing that federal conspiracy charges will prove to be punitive enough on their own.

        • Savage Librarian says:

          Another reason RICO is being discussed again lately is because DA Fani Willis in Georgia has hired an expert who will be helping her with an election interference case against Trump there. But state law and federal law are different. It will be interesting to see how that case proceeds, though.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Fundamentally, if you can prove the charges underlying a RICO charge, you don’t need RICO. RICO adds complexity. KISS, minimize confusion, and avoid giving a potentially sympathetic juror a reason to acquit.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          EOH, Thanks for the clarity. RICO’s main function–aside from providing Rudy Giuliani an original career path–has seemed to me to be intimidation of potential defendants. That is, believing you face RICO charges makes you less willing to play fast and loose with prosecutors.

        • bmaz says:

          Quite the opposite, it is normally so asinine, it would give the defense a way to cloud an otherwise solid underlying prosecution case.

        • TooLoose LeTruck says:

          Did RICO ever play a meaningful role in any prosecution? I thought it was specifically written to give the feds a stronger hand in busting mafia families back in the 80’s…

          Is the history on that bad? Or did it work for that one specific cause at the time?

        • TooLoose LeTruck says:


          Thank you.

          The current events we’re trying to understand and come to grips with (what happened on the 6th) strike me as being some of the most complicated moments in the history of the country…

          It’s not always fun or comfortable living thru history.

    • person1597 says:

      Lol… Another anthemic ballad in progress…
      “Well I called my congressman and he said quote
      I’d like to help you son, but you’re too young to vote”
      “unless…. there is a conspiracy rap involved or something that rhymes with MEKO (a shipbuilder in the EU)”

  5. DAT says:

    Re: RICO. If I’m not mistaken that is being discussed in the State court of Georgia, regarding their investigation of the former President and his solicitation to overturn a free, fair, and secure election. Comment BMAZ?

    • bmaz says:

      And to Savage Librarian as well: No. I do not give a flying fuck what an attention seeking county attorney (NOT the GA AG understand you, but a freaking local DA) is bellowing about. IT IS NOT RICO.

      Seriously, this needs to stop being relentlessly invoked. It is total quackery. Stop. As friend Ken White once and forever wrote, it is NEVER RICO. How often must we go through this? Stop.

      • Badger Robert says:

        The Georgia statute seemed to be different. Georgia also has its own issue with respect to the cost of the second recount.

        • bmaz says:

          It is not, it is still garbage. Bang Trump on the real underlying criminal statutes, not gimmickry. This is all so stupid I need some aspirin for the headache.

        • TooLoose LeTruck says:

          What would be the real underlying criminal statutes in play here?

          From what I’ve real in the past, it looks like bank fraud, insurance fraud, tax fraud, and wire fraud, amongst other possible problems?

          Overestimating the value of properties for loans and underestimating them for insurance and tax purposes?

          If those are the possible crimes, would those fall on Trump, or the Trump Organization? And if on the organization, who personally might take the fall?

          I thought his sons might have some possible exposure here. Would Donald take a hit too?

      • Savage Librarian says:

        Thanks for the clarification, bmaz. The point I was trying to make is that is why it has been in the news more lately. That’s all.

      • Leoghann says:

        Thanks for that link. It’s very clarifying, although I already understood that e.g.: the Oath Keepers could hardly be considered a criminal enterprise.

  6. Badger Robert says:

    1, The Georgia case seems the easiest to prove, but whether the prosecution can get a conviction in Fulton County is uncertain.
    2. The New York case would probably be a type of case that has been successfully prosecuted in the past.
    3. The former President is probably most culpable for the 1/06 riot. He got people to do horrendous things for him, but without ever breaking code and being explicit and what he desired.

    • bmaz says:

      1) The Georgia case is nowhere near easy to prove up. Doing it locally in Fulton County looks beyond stupid and politically motivated. The defense is far better than “you” think.

      2) the NYC case, while compelling in several aspects, is also defensible, though taxes are a real problem for Trump. We’ll see, but it may be the best shot from today’s perspective.

      3) There are, on the evidence to date, a litany of defenses, including 1A speech, by a sitting President, so, lol, no, that is not the “most culpable” inflection point.

      I am dead serious, folks here need to sit back and dial back a little.

  7. Badger Robert says:

    Its always interesting when Ms. Wheeler confirms what the TV legal analysts are reporting.

  8. posaune says:

    @ Badger:
    What’s this “confirms?” Dr EW is always (or 95% always) first out of the gate!

  9. posaune says:

    Archaic fact:
    PG County in MD, was for two centuries officially “Prince Georges County.” No apostrophe. I got in a heap of trouble once for using the apostrophe in a technical exhibit for MoCo Planning Commission litigation. It looks like they’ve finally changed that.
    The US Board on Geographical Names only recognizes 5 place names with an apostrophe. County governments are excluded because they are considered an administrative unit (not a place).

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