FBI's 160 open case files related to Capitol riot 'just the tip of the iceberg,' official says

Steven D'Antuono.
(Image credit: SARAH SILBIGER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The "scope and scale" of the investigation into last week's deadly riot at the United States Capitol is "unprecedented" and prosecutors are treating it as a "significant counterterrorism or counterintelligence" probe, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Michael Sherwin said during a Tuesday afternoon press briefing. FBI official Steven D'Antuono provided some numbers to prove that point, noting that the agency has opened more than 160 case files, charged 70 people, and received more than 100,000 tips so far, before clarifying "that's just the tip of the iceberg."

The charges represent a wide range of criminal activity, Sherwin said, going from simple trespassing to felony murder. He added that the Justice Department is looking at "significant felony cases tied to sedition and conspiracy."

D'Antuono and Sherwin were fairly open about some of their findings— Sherwin explained that pipe bombs found on the Capitol grounds on the day of the riot were "real devices" with "explosive igniters," and it's unclear why they didn't go off — but they kept other matters under wraps, including whether they have made any progress in the investigation into U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick's death.

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Sherwin went on to say that he thinks there are "a lot of misconceptions about what happened within the capitol" and he believes people will be "shocked with some of the egregious conduct" that took place. Tim O'Donnell

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Tim O'Donnell

Tim is a staff writer at The Week and has contributed to Bedford and Bowery and The New York Transatlantic. He is a graduate of Occidental College and NYU's journalism school. Tim enjoys writing about baseball, Europe, and extinct megafauna. He lives in New York City.