EDVA and FBI affirm commitment to ensuring peaceful inauguration

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia and the FBI, affirmed their commitment today to holding accountable anyone who, in connection with tomorrow’s presidential inauguration, commits acts of violence or otherwise violates federal law in the Eastern District of Virginia, including at the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond.

“While the First Amendment protects the right of individuals to assemble peaceably, it does not provide safe harbor to those who engage in repugnant and destructive behavior to violently attack our Nation’s democracy,” said Raj Parekh, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Our office—in partnership with federal, state, and local law enforcement—will thoroughly investigate and prosecute those who commit violence, destroy property, or threaten others in violation of federal law. For anyone who is contemplating traveling from EDVA to D.C. to engage in criminal acts during tomorrow’s inauguration events, know that we stand united and will assist our counterparts in the District of Columbia to ensure a peaceful inauguration. Likewise, for those considering traveling to the Virginia State Capitol to engage in criminal activity, EDVA, the FBI, and our law enforcement partners will act quickly to seek justice and hold you accountable.”

The FBI is the lead federal agency for intelligence analysis and dissemination to law enforcement partners, counterterrorism, and crisis management for the inauguration. “FBI agents, analysts, and professional staff are working around the clock with our partners to identify, investigate, and respond to any threats that might arise in the National Capital Region,” said Steven M. D’Antuono, Assistant Director in Charge of the Washington Field Office. “While the FBI respects the rights of individuals to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights, those who wish to use this freedom to instigate violent and destructive behavior will not be tolerated and will be held to account for their unlawful actions.”

If you have any information, tips, or digital media depicting rioting or violence at the U.S. Capitol Building or its surrounding area, visit fbi.gov/USCapitol or call 1-800-CALL-FBI. If you have any information about unlawful activity in or around Virginia’s State Capitol Building, please contact FBI’s Richmond Field Office at 804-261-1161.

Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Steven M. D’Antuono, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, David W. Archey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office, and Brian Dugan, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement.

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