As Millions Cross Border Illegally, Biden DOJ Proclaims Thousands of Jan. 6 Protesters Could Be Prosecuted for Being Outside Capitol

As Millions Cross Border Illegally, Biden DOJ Proclaims Thousands of Jan. 6 Protesters Could Be Prosecuted for Being Outside Capitol

The Justice Department used the occasion of the third anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol incursion to announce that it is still looking to prosecute more people.

In fact, U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves noted in a nearly hour-long news briefing on Thursday that thousands of people entered the area outside of the Capitol that day “without authorization” and, therefore, are eligible to be prosecuted.

You know another place where people have entered without authorization? The southern border. And that number is not in the thousands, it’s in the millions since Joe Biden took office. Approximately 8 million by last count have entered the United States illegally since 2021, and that does not include the more than 1.7 million known “gotaways.”

Would that the Biden administration direct even a fraction of the effort it has expended on rounding up Jan. 6 protesters — most of whom did not engage in violence — to securing the southern border.

Border Patrol has apprehended hundreds on the terror watch list, far outstripping past numbers.

The natural question that arises is how many potential terrorists were not apprehended?

Graves opened his Thursday briefing saying, “On the occasion of this anniversary, we request the public’s continued assistance in identifying individuals who committed crimes on Jan. 6, 2021, who have yet to be identified, particularly the roughly 80 still unidentified individuals who are believed to have committed acts of violence against law enforcement officers.”

One would be hard-pressed to find someone on either side of the political aisle who doesn’t think Jan. 6 protesters who engaged in violence against police officers or anyone in the Capitol should not be prosecuted.

The DOJ is certainly not using the same level of vigor in prosecuting those who injured over 60 Secret Service personnel defending the White House from a riotous mob in May 2020 following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota, but that’s another story.

The difference between the rioters at the White House not succeeding in gaining access, while the Capitol was breached, was the former was better defended.

Graves conceded as much during his briefing saying, “There was not enough law enforcement to defend the Capitol and the people in it, let alone to arrest the thousands of people who illegally entered Capitol grounds.”

He later argued all those who were on the Capitol grounds could be prosecuted.

“An important note when it comes to our prosecutions about those who remained outside the building: We have used our prosecutorial discretion to primarily focus on those who entered the building or those who engaged in corrupt conduct on Capitol grounds,” Graves said.

“But if a person knowingly entered a restricted area without authorization, they had already committed a federal crime. Make no mistake, thousands of people occupied an area that they were not authorized to be present in in the first place,” he added.

The Federalist editor-in-chief Mollie Hemingway said she covered the Jan. 6 incursion and saw no indication people were not allowed on the Capitol grounds.

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas responded to Graves’ statement, posting on X, “This is an absolute abuse of power. Biden DOJ is threatening to prosecute ‘thousands’ of people who (in his own words) did NOT commit a crime of violence & simply stood OUTSIDE Capitol.”

“This is a political persecution of Biden enemies. Congress should FORCE Graves to testify,” Cruz wrote.

Graves justified these prosecutions at his briefing saying, “There was a range of criminal conduct among those who were in the mob.”

He continued, “At a high level though, members of the mob who knowingly trespassed onto Capitol grounds can be divided into two categories: those who used violence and those who rode the coattails of others who used violence, using the access they were provided to commit their own crimes.”

During his briefing, Graves also gave a breakdown of the Jan. 6 prosecutions to date saying there have been nearly 900. Of these 149 people were convicted of “assaulting, resisting or impeding officers.”

He said 41 of those included use of a dangerous weapon — such as a hockey stick, a flag pole, tasers, and bear spray. Some on the Capitol grounds had handguns, but none of them have been prosecuted for taking them into the building nor firing them that day.

A search of the DOJ database for firearm charges for Jan. 6 defendants shows five were charged. Of these, two defendants had them on the Capitol grounds, while others had them in the District of Columbia.

So based on Graves’ briefing, it sounds like the government should have prosecuted around 200 people for some level of violence that day, given the 149 convictions the DOJ secured so far and the 80 they’d still like to be able to identify.


People who damaged property also deserved to be punished, which leaves the vast majority there who were just engaging in a peaceful protest and should not be prosecuted, certainly given the precedent set during the summer of 2020 “social justice” riots.

Former Attorney General Bill Barr, no “MAGA Republican” for sure, told Fox News Saturday the DOJ “cast [its] net far too broadly” in prosecuting Jan. 6 protesters.

“I think there were people involved in Jan. 6, particularly the people who attacked the police and broke their way into the Capitol, there were people that should have been prosecuted, but I think they cast their net far too broadly and have been hounding people that really, you know, just walked into open doors in the Capitol and hung around,” Barr added.

“While I don’t think it was an insurrection, it clearly was a shameful episode,” the former attorney general said.

It’s well past time for the Biden administration to focus on securing the border and let Jan. 6 go.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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