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The Jan. 6 attack: The cases behind the biggest criminal investigation in U.S. history

Supporters of Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Brent Stirton
Getty Images
Supporters of Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Updated July 19, 2024 at 17:26 PM ET

Editor's note: This story was first published on Feb. 9, 2021. It is regularly updated and includes explicit language.

On Jan. 6, 2021, supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol, injuring 140 law enforcement officers, forcing a panicked evacuation of the nation's political leaders, and threatening the peaceful transfer of power.

Five people died during or soon after the riot, and more than $2.9 million worth of damage was done to the Capitol. Rioters brought firearms, knives, hatchets, pepper spray, baseball bats and other improvised weapons to the Capitol grounds and prosecutors say many of those weapons were used to assault police. The Federal Bureau of Investigation considers the attack an act of domestic terrorism. In response, the Department of Justice launched the largest criminal investigation in U.S. history.


The FBI continues to make arrests for charges stemming from the insurrection, though at a slower pace than in the earliest months of the investigation. The FBI has estimated that around 2,000 people took part in criminal acts on Jan. 6. At the current pace of arrests, the government appears unlikely to charge all of those individuals before the statute of limitations lapses for many offenses on Jan. 5, 2026, according to an NPR analysis.

The U.S. Supreme Court is also set to weigh arguments about the scope of a felony charge brought in more than 340 Capitol riot cases, including the federal criminal case against Trump himself: obstruction of an official proceeding. The court's decision could have implications for hundreds of Jan. 6 defendants.

NPR is tracking every federal criminal case stemming from that day's events. This database makes publicly available — and searchable — information on hundreds of cases, including alleged affiliation with extremist ideologies and past or present police or military experience.


Explore the Jan. 6 Capitol riot cases

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Corrected: February 20, 2021 at 4:35 PM EST
In an earlier version of this database, the summary for Vitali GossJankowski was mistakenly entered twice and appeared incorrectly for Cindy Sue Fitchett.