Western Tennessee US Attorney’s office assisting in Capitol riot investigation

Watch: Western Tennessee US Attorney’s office assisting in Capitol riot investigation

MEMPHIS, TENN. — Thousands of people rushed the US Capitol last week, blowing past police who were quickly overwhelmed. The prosecutor responsible for identifying and bringing to justice those from western Tennessee who took part spoke about the role his office is taking in the investigation taking place in Washington, DC.

US Attorney Michael Dunavant was generally limited in what he could say, as much of what happened is still the subject of ongoing criminal investigations, but investigators are working to identify those who participated, and there is still lots more to come.

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Dunavant said his office is playing a role, assigning two assistant US attorneys to assist the FBI in Washington, DC and its joint terrorism task force.

“They have to be held accountable. We have to uphold the rule of law in this country. That’s what the foundations of our republic are built upon, so we can’t let it go,” Dunavant said.

Dunavant said there could potentially be thousands of prosecutions.

“We’re looking at every one of them, trying to identify every one of them, and to the extent that we can, every one of them will be prosecuted and held accountable,” he said.

Speaking Tuesday, authorities identified 70 people already being charged, including those in viral photos posted to social media. More than 170 investigations have been opened. However, how many of those are within the western district, Mr. Dunavant could not say specifically.

The US Attorney’s office is working with the FBI field office here in Memphis as well.