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Justice Department poised to get new funding for Jan. 6 prosecutions

Jan. 6 cases are costly for the DOJ. Fortunately, Congress is poised to invest millions “to further support prosecutions related to the Jan. 6 attack."


By some measures, the Justice Department’s Jan. 6 probe is “the most wide-ranging investigation” in the history of federal law enforcement in the United States. Over the course of nearly two years, there have been nearly 900 arrests, and that number may yet grow, especially as the Jan. 6 committee starts sharing its records with prosecutors.

There is, however, a practical consideration: All of this work is costly. NBC News reported a couple of months ago that the Department of Justice “needs more resources to move full-speed ahead.” As one official put it, “We don’t have the manpower.”

Evidently, that problem is poised to go away. NBC News ran a follow-up report yesterday, noting that the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending package, which is expected to clear Capitol Hill this week, includes significant resources for the prosecution of Jan. 6 cases.

The package would give U.S. attorneys a budget of $2.63 billion for the coming fiscal year, a $212.1 million boost above current levels. One reason for the additional money is “to further support prosecutions related to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and domestic terrorism cases,” according to a summary provided by the House Appropriations Committee.

A source involved in the Jan. 6 criminal investigation added, “For reasons that we understand and for many reasons that may manifest only with the passage of time, it’s crucial for us to have the resources that allow us to work as hard as we can for as long as we can.”

The reference to future events was provocative in that it pointed to the very real possibility of future prosecutions.

As for the congressional negotiations, federal law enforcement appears to have benefitted from some bipartisanship.

“I’ve always been for prosecuting anybody who violated the law on January the 6th,” Republican Sen. Roy Blunt, a senior appropriator and member of Republican leadership, said this week. “And there are, like, 800 cases already. So I can’t imagine that they don’t need some extra money.”

The longtime Missouri lawmaker, incidentally, is retiring and will step down from Capitol Hill at the end of Congress’ current session. Blunt need not worry, in other words, about a political backlash from the GOP’s far-right base.