The Department of Justice of Tuesday revealed the basic prosecutorial strategy being employed to investigate the role of "kingpins" in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The strategy was revealed during testimony from Assistant Attorney General Matt Olsen before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse, who served as U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island and the state's attorney general, directed his questions at the prosecutorial strategy.
"Mr. Olson, with respect to the Jan. 6 assault, will the Department of Justice follow the evidence upstream to funders, organizers, and instigators not present at the Capitol assault if justified?" Whitehouse asked. "Or put another way, does have the Department of Justice have any policy or reticence not to the follow the evidence regarding upstream funders, organizers, and instigators."
"Senator, as the attorney general discussed last week in his speech, the department will follow the evidence wherever it leads and that's consistent with the direction that I have in my role as head of the national security division," Olsen replied.
Whitehouse got Olsen to acknowledge the department was looking at low-level actors first.
"In fact, I began my career as a federal prosecutor here in Washington, DC and that is the standard approach that's taken in all manner of large conspiracy cases," he explained.
"And it's customary to do that first, in order to obtain further evidence against upstream organizers or kingpins?" Whitehouse asked.
"Correct," Olsen replied.
"The department is following that standard with respect to the Jan. 6 investigation?" Whitehouse asked.
"That's correct," Olsen replied.
Valuable exchange @SenWhitehouse and Assistant A.G. Olsen\u00a0\n\nStandard approach to criminal investigations that DOJ confirms applying to #January6th:\n\n\u2014First prosecute low-level actors\n\u2014Obtain evidence against "upstream organizers or kingpins"\n\u2014Follow the evidence wherever it leadspic.twitter.com/PYovLJUqmh— Ryan Goodman (@Ryan Goodman) 1641921295