Nearly a dozen new high-profile suspects have been arrested or charged across the country, and the Justice Department has made it clear that it is throwing its weight behind major cases in the largest counterterrorism investigation since 9/11. September 2001.

Wednesday’s new arrests bring the total number of new federal criminal cases to at least 32 by nightfall, with hundreds more being sought or investigated.

In the past week, investigators have found some of the key people in the riots. A federal court on Wednesday charged two rural Virginia police officers who shared a photo on social media of themselves posing in front of a statue of a Revolutionary War general on Capitol Hill.

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Swimmer Klete Keller, who won Olympic gold medals in 2004 and 2008, was identified in the video of the disturbance in part because of the American team jacket she was wearing, according to federal court records released Wednesday. He was also charged with participating in a violent robbery.

Another notorious alleged rioter wearing a jersey from the Jan. 6 Auschwitz camp, Robert Keith Packer, was arrested Wednesday in Newport News, Virginia.

Many suspects have attracted attention lately by posing in photos circulating on the Internet or identifying themselves (or having identified themselves) on social media. Some have even admitted to the FBI that they are involved in the melee.

The new cases that are emerging are still primarily about people who have been photographed or filmed.

Evidence says planning, law enforcement says.

In the coming weeks, attention will likely turn to cases with potentially more serious allegations.

The evidence that has come to light so far, including the weapons and tactics shown on the surveillance video, indicates a level of planning that led investigators to believe the attack was more than just an out-of-control protest, a federal law enforcement official said.

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This has led to more complex investigations, with public order and national security authorities joining forces to approach the investigation as a broad terrorism investigation.

The presence of prosecutors and officials in corruption cases is partly due to their expertise in financial investigations. We’re following the money, the official said.

On Wednesday morning, the FBI said it had received more than 126,000 pieces of digital information from the public about the Capitol attack and was tracking online conversations.

According to two law enforcement officials, among the tips the FBI has received are some that appear to show members of Congress the people who later participated in the Capitol riots. This does not mean members of Congress and staff are being investigated, but the FBI is verifying the accuracy of the allegations, officials said.

Court records reveal terrifying details about threats

Last week, several cases revealed the dangerous situation around the Capitol. Specifically, two of the defendants, Cleveland Meredith Jr. and Lonnie Coffman, allegedly brought arsenals into the city interested in participating in the alleged war.

According to the indictment, Coffman was indicted by a grand jury in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6, one of the first charges related to rioting. He now faces 17 criminal charges, primarily for possession of multiple weapons, including ammunition, shotguns and miscellaneous weapons, including a shotgun, a hunting rifle, three handguns and 11 unregistered Molotov cocktails.

He reportedly parked his truck full of bombs on his way to Capitol Hill at a Trump Rally after living in the truck in Washington for about a week. In the court documents involving Coffman, prosecutors found handwritten notes quoting Abraham Lincoln about overthrowing people who had perverted the Constitution, phone numbers of right-wing personalities, including Senator Ted Cruz and Sean Hannity, and a list naming a federal judge as the villain and a congressman as a Muslim. He pleaded not guilty and is in jail awaiting trial.

Meredith allegedly made threats via text message and carried 2,500 bullets, an assault rifle and another handgun around town.

He arrived in Washington, D.C., after a meeting of Trump supporters and is said to have written brilliantly about the assassinations of Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. He wrote about the war on lawmakers as Congress confirmed that Joe Biden is the president-elect, prosecutors said Wednesday.

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The suspect sent a message that said: We gather Washington and shrink slowly, the prosecutors noted, arguing that he was in custody. Apparently impressed that law enforcement was checking his communications, the defendant later sent a text message saying I’m harmless….. I fire only on my command, sir!

Once in the city, Meredith allegedly hit him with his head and grabbed the man, prosecutors said.

His threats were explicit: he threatened to put a bullet in the head of a female officer live on television. His threats were vulgar and misogynistic. In addition, the defendant clearly enjoyed imagining the violence, which he described as a fun and intentional practice, which they wrote about in their memo.

DOJ wants to keep people off the streets….

At least some of the arrests already made are part of a strategy used in counterterrorism investigations – to find even the smallest charge to get a suspect off the street. Officials say this could help ease concerns about possible attacks on the opening ceremony.

Authorities already tried to do so last week at a gathering of Trump supporters in Washington, D.C., when they arrested the leader of the right-wing Proud Boys, Henry Henrique Tarrio, for burning Black Lives Matter banners.

Law enforcement officials then reported finding two large-capacity firearm magazines in his possession, which resulted in additional charges. And this week, federal authorities in New York City arrested a man on weapons charges after investigators posted reports online about an armed caravan headed for the U.S. Capitol.

But his strategy may have limits

The Justice Department could face possible legal constraints if it tried to lock some people up – with Meredith’s first challenge.

That possibility arose on Wednesday when a judge denied his request to hold him.

Meredith’s attorney argued that it was not sufficient under the law to lock her up solely because of the alleged danger.

Meredith’s lawyer wrote in her trial filing on Wednesday afternoon, citing limitations in the bail reform law, that the grounds for detention of defendants must be flight risk, possible obstruction, or a charge of a violent crime, drug offense or a crime that could result in life imprisonment or death.

Meredith’s lawyer pleaded for him to be released pending trial.

Meredith has not yet been charged and was arrested last week for illegal possession of a weapon and making threats.

He is still in custody and will appear again Thursday before a judge, Michael Harvey, in Washington, D.C., to decide whether he should remain in custody.

CNN’s Marshall Cohen contributed to this report.

cnn capitol riot investigationcnn capitol riot pre planned

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