This week, we’re bringing on special guest Ryan J. Reilly, senior justice reporter at HuffPost, while Ken enjoys a deserved vacation. We’ve followed and referenced Ryan’s reporting on prosecutions related to the Capitol riot for the past seven months and it’s time to check in. First: what does it look like for hundreds of cases to move through one federal court district in D.C.? How is the system handling the volume? And is there any method to which cases have been charged so far? Ryan explains how the insurrection has impacted the work of the Department of Justice and the FBI, both in Washington D.C. and spread out across the country. With so many ideological defendants, it’s likely more of these cases will go to trial, further impacting the system.
Citizens have been sifting through the mounds of publicly available photos and videos from the riots and sending tips to federal investigators. Ryan talks about who these “sedition hunters” are, why they’re getting involved, and why sometimes they’re a few steps ahead of investigators. Is their help welcome? How likely are they to potentially misidentify a suspect? Is facial recognition software taking the weight off of beleaguered prosecutors?