Prosecutors made some serious claims after the deadly U.S. Capitol attack, saying they had evidence rioters planned to kill elected officials, suggesting a Virginia man at the building received directives to gas lawmakers, and accusing another suspect of directing mayhem on Jan. 6 with encrypted messages.
But the Justice Department has since acknowledged in court hearings that some of its evidence concerning the riot – carried out by a mob of supporters of former President Donald Trump to try to overturn his election loss – is less damning than it initially indicated.
The prosecutors apparently overstated their cases early on and have now started to backtrack. I suspect there was some animus toward President Trump by DOJ officials that led to these false and misleading charges against the alleged perps. The media also tended to overstate the seriousness of the situation in the Capitol, including allegations of “armed insurrection.”
As a former prosecutor, I think it is always a mistake to overcharge a case. You put yourself in the position of losing credibility with the court and the jury.