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Legal expert: Expect federal, local authorities to put in intense effort to bring Capitol rioters to justice

FBI Pics .jpg
Posted at 8:00 PM, Jan 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-08 20:00:07-05

CLEVELAND — The FBI is asking for the public’s help in identifying the people in photos who were part of the violent pro-Trump mob that forced its way inside the U.S. Capitol Building on Wednesday.

Subodh Chandra, managing partner at Chandra Law Firm LLC in Cleveland, said he expects both federal and local authorities to put in an intense effort to bring the rioters to justice.

“It’s something that hasn't happened since 1814 when the British were invading and attacked the Capitol. So the ramifications are very serious,” Chandra said. “We've seen the United States Attorney, for example, in Cleveland, Justin Herdman, as he's leaving office say that he's committed himself to ensuring that as many people are charged as possible who may have traveled across state lines from Ohio to engage in such criminal activity.”

It's a federal crime to cross state lines to commit certain crimes of violence.

News 5 captured buses filled with dozens of Trump supporters leaving for Washington D.C. Wednesday morning.

Chandra said if any of them participated in the violence and destruction they could face charges—especially if they were caught on camera because of the severity of the crimes.

“This apparent intention to try to stop the public's business from taking place, namely the certification of an election—that is potentially seditious conspiracy and seditious conspiracy under federal law is punishable by up to 20 years of imprisonment,” Chandra said.

As for the next steps in this process, Chandra believes we’ll see a harsh and united stance from federal and local officials.

“Unless there is swift and sure and severe accountability for large numbers of people who are involved in this, then there is the substantial risk that there will be a recurrence,” Chandra said.

RELATED: Police, FBI ask public to help identify persons of interest who stormed Capitol