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FBI director vows accountability for those in Capitol 'siege'

FBI director vows accountability for those in Capitol 'siege'
© Bonnie Cash

FBI Director Christopher Wray vowed Thursday to "hold accountable those who participated in yesterday’s siege of the Capitol” after a pro-Trump mob overtook the building, forcing evacuations.

"The violence and destruction of property at the U.S. Capitol building yesterday showed a blatant and appalling disregard for our institutions of government and the orderly administration of the democratic process,” Wray said in a statement.

“As we’ve said consistently, we do not tolerate violent agitators and extremists who use the guise of First Amendment-protected activity to incite violence and wreak havoc,” he continued. “Such behavior betrays the values of our democracy. Make no mistake: With our partners, we will hold accountable those who participated in yesterday’s siege of the Capitol.”

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Wray announced that the bureau “has deployed our full investigative resources” and is working with law enforcement partners “to aggressively pursue those involved in criminal activity” on Wednesday. 

“Our agents and analysts have been hard at work through the night gathering evidence, sharing intelligence, and working with federal prosecutors to bring charges,” he said.

He requested the public send in any information about Wednesday’s events to the FBI, noting “We are determined to find those responsible and ensure justice is served."

The tip website says the FBI is looking for "information that will assist in identifying individuals who are actively instigating violence in Washington, DC.” 

The FBI’s investigation follows a chaotic and violent day on Capitol Hill, in which four people died — including one woman who was shot by a plainclothes Capitol Police officer — amid rioting at the Capitol complex. That shooting is under investigation.

The swarm of rioters temporarily halted the certification of President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden's quiet diplomacy under pressure as Israel-Hamas fighting intensifies Overnight Defense: Administration approves 5M arms sale to Israel | Biden backs ceasefire in call with Netanyahu | Military sexual assault reform push reaches turning point CDC mask update sparks confusion, opposition MORE’s electoral win. 

D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department has identified dozens of people of interest, accusing them of “unlawful entry” into the Capitol.

MPD said at least 52 people were arrested and at least six guns were recovered. Police also said that two pipe bombs were recovered near the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee headquarters. Police also found a cooler with Molotov cocktails in a vehicle that had a long gun in it on the Capitol grounds, the chief said.