While investigators were exploring surveillance footage and social media posts of the Capitol invasion Thursday afternoon, one of the most identified of the participants was identified as Washington D.C.
“I consider it a victory that we kept our traitors in the office hangar, wearing their gas masks and retreating into their underground bunker,” 33-year-old Jack Angeli told NBC News during his cross-country trip to Arizona.
Angeli, who struck Capitol with a bare chest and wore a fur helmet with horns, is now one of hundreds of Trump supporters at the crossroads of local and federal law enforcement.
Investigators are now facing a massive effort to locate and track hundreds of people across the country as the majority of the Capitol gang was allowed to leave the building for free.
In a conference call with reporters, Michael Sherwin, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, acknowledged the challenges posed by the failure of U.S. Capitol Police to unite protesters.
“I’m not going to play in the quarterbacks on Monday morning to see when or why they didn’t do it,” Sherwin said. “But this situation has made our job harder because we now have to go through the process – cell site orders, video – identify people and charge them and then try to arrest them.”
“It makes things challenging,” Sherwin added. “But I can’t answer why they left the building or why those people weren’t zipped up.”
Calls for Capitol Police have not been withdrawn, but a spokesman on Thursday afternoon announced the resignation of Chief Steven Chund.
Pictures of the Capitol intrusion – aired on national television on Wednesday afternoon – Jaring.
The windows were smashed. Offices were looted. Members of the gang handled Capitol police officers.
The majority were allowed to leave the building to protest, as it was seen as completely different from the massive law enforcement response to welcoming Black Lives Matter protesters in the summer.
Columbia District Attorney General Carl Racine described the use of the property in a different way: “The federal government has put forward a very peaceful Black Lives Matter with the protesters.
A total of 41 people were arrested at Capitol Grounds Wednesday afternoon and early Thursday morning, according to Washington D.C. Police Chief Robert Candy. Candy said 27 more people were arrested for crimes unrelated to the Capitol breach.
A total of 55 people have been charged by Sherwin’s office following the riots. One of them was arrested near the building with a semi-automatic rifle and 11 Molotov cocktails, state prosecutors said.
One protester, Ashley Babbitt, a California Air Force soldier, was shot dead by Capitol police. Authorities say three more people have died from medical problems amid violent protests.
At Sherwin’s press conference, prosecutors have moved to a quick clip to bring the charges, and there are many more ways.
But questions remain as to why the authorities are not better prepared to close the Capitol – and why no arrests have yet been made of members of the pro-Trump mob as they leave the building.
“There are obvious failures,” former U.S. Capitol Police chief Terence Keiner told NBC’s “Today” program Thursday. “A lot of questions need to be asked and answered. The police have underestimated the violent crowd and its magnitude, and they have exaggerated their ability to control it.”
In a statement issued shortly before his resignation, Capitol Police Chief Chund praised the “heroic” actions of his officers, but did not address why his department was not well-prepared.
“The United States Capitol Police officers and our law enforcement partners responded vigorously when confronted by the thousands of people involved in violent riots when the United States Capitol building was attacked,” he said. “The Violent Attack on American Capital was unlike any I have experienced in law enforcement in my 30 years in Washington D.C.”
The FBI received more than 4,000 online tips for its Washington field office Thursday, including photos and videos of suspects in the Capitol riots.
Investigators sorted out the information and sent credible procedures to groups of agents working on the case, the FBI said. Investigators also use facial recognition software to identify suspects.
EJ Hilbert, a former FBI agent who focused on cybercrime and terrorism, said the approach was similar to that used in the Boston Marathon bombers’ investigation.
“They’re going to see every scene out there,” he said.
Hilbert said he expects the investigation to lead to a flood of sub-phones for social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter as authorities work to find individuals who posted online footage inside the Capitol.
“This is not going to happen tomorrow, but next week, internet service providers are going to do more work to respond to these requests,” he said.
Angeli, meanwhile, said she was not interested in the trial. A QAnon conspiracy theorist who regularly posts on YouTube, he compares himself to Gandhi and Martin Luther King.
“What I did was non-cooperation,” he said.
“I did nothing wrong,” Angeli added. “I walked through an open door, dude.”
Stephen Sykes Contributed.