Judge Orders Capitol Rioters To Contribute $ 1.5 Million In Damage As Taxpayer Pays $ 500 Million
A judge lambasted federal officials for only demanding that people charged with participating in the Jan.6 attack on Capitol Hill about $ 2,000 at most in restitution, as Congress spent nearly $ 1 billion. dollars in taxpayer money to repair the damage caused by the riot.
U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell of Washington DC on Monday took prosecutors to task for the disparity at the plea hearing of one of the alleged rioters.
“I am used to the government being quite aggressive in terms of fraud when there has been damages resulting from a criminal act for the amount of restitution,” she said, adding: ” Where Congress acts, appropriates all this money owed directly to the events of January 6, I have found the damage amount to be less than $ 1.5 million – as all of us American taxpayers are on the verge to foot the bill of almost half a billion dollars – a little surprising.
In late July, Congress overwhelmingly passed a spending shift to begin repairs, including $ 521 million in reimbursements to the National Guard, $ 70 million to the United States Capitol Police and $ 300 million. additional for Capitol Security upgrades.
In response to the damage, prosecutors are demanding that those accused of the Capitol riots pay $ 2,000 in restitution if they plead guilty to related crimes, or $ 500 to misdemeanor charges.
While it is not known exactly how officials reached these numbers, the Capitol architect’s office said The Washington Post that he gave the Justice Department estimates of the damage following the attack, as well as information to Congress on the broader security costs.
In June, prosecutors said in court that the damage was about $ 1.5 million, likely the cost of direct repairs to the building.
In court on Monday, Deputy U.S. Attorney Clayton Henry O’Connor said the government would explain in more detail how it calculated financial penalties later this fall.
Federal prosecutors have so far charged more than 500 people in more than 40 states for their involvement in the January 6 attack, according to a database of United States today.
The congressional investigation into the riot continues and lawmakers have already heard moving testimony from police officers who were at the scene that day during the attack, which killed five people on January 6, as well as from several police officers who then committed suicide.
Investigators are now weigh whether to subpoena the main Republicans who contacted Donald Trump during the attack as parliamentary minority leader Kevin McCarthy and Representative Jim Jordan, as well as Mr. Trump himself.
Calling on the former president would likely spark a bitter legal battle over the subpoena power of Congress.