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More than 775 people have been arrested in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Federal prosecutors have filed charging documents that show the alleged crimes by the individuals.
The majority of Jan. 6 defendants have been released from jail pending trial, but between 75 and 85 are in jail at any given time while their cases are pending.
Approximately 224 people have pleaded guilty to federal charges, including 29 for felonies. More than 110 Jan. 6 defendants have been sentenced.
Kari Lake, a TV journalist turned Republican candidate for Arizona governor, is running with Donald Trump’s endorsement on a platform of rehashing falsehoods about the 2020 presidential election.
Lake disputes that President Joe Biden received 81 million votes even though the results were certified and accepted by Congress. Lake has spoken favorably of "decertification" of the vote in Arizona, a process that does not exist. She predicted a review of ballots in Maricopa County would show Trump as "the real winner of Arizona," but that review, orchestrated by state Senate Republicans, confirmed the official results that Biden won.
Falsehoods about the 2020 presidential election culminated in the Jan. 6, 2021, violent attack on the U.S. Capitol. Lake downplayed the cases of the defendants in an interview with 60 Minutes Australia. Lake was asked if she thinks the defendants should be pardoned, an idea floated by Trump. Lake said she would have no say in that as a candidate for governor, then added, "What I don’t like is that people are being held in prison without being charged. That’s un-American."
Lake posted a longer version of the interview on Rumble. "We don’t take kindly on Americans being locked up for months on end without being charged. So charge them, or get off the pot," she added.
We contacted Lake’s campaign to ask for her evidence and did not get a response.
So has the government imprisoned people associated with Jan. 6 without showing any evidence of alleged crimes? No. Court records show charges filed against hundreds of people who assaulted or resisted police and disrupted Congress in an effort to overturn the election results in favor of Donald Trump.
Lake is one of many Republicans running in Arizona’s Aug. 2 Republican primary, while the best known Democrat running is Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. Gov. Doug Ducey is term limited.
Lake said defendants were being held in "prison" without being charged, but defendants are held pre-trial in jails. The majority of defendants awaiting trial have been released from jail pending the outcome of their case. The number of defendants detained pretrial is between 75 and 85 at any given time, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
As of March 6, more than 775 defendants had been arrested in connection with the Capitol attack.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C., summarized the charges in a recent update. More than 245 individuals have been charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding police officers or employees, with over 80 of those charged with using a deadly or dangerous weapon or causing serious bodily injury to an officer.
Approximately 224 individuals have pleaded guilty to federal charges, including 29 for felonies. More than 110 defendants have been sentenced.
Typically the cases begin with a complaint signed by a judge that states the charges faced by the defendant. The complaint is accompanied by a statement of facts by a law enforcement officer detailing the alleged crimes.
The complaint is usually followed by another type of charging document, an indictment from a grand jury, or what’s called an "information" filed by a prosecutor.
The complaint itself includes criminal charges, but it’s filed earlier in the court process without a grand jury agreeing on charges.
Daniel Richman, a Columbia law school professor and former federal prosecutor, said it’s wrong to suggest that Jan. 6 defendants are "sitting in there not knowing what they are in for."
"The complaint is a charge, (even if) it’s not a charge for certain formal purposes," Richman said. "They have a piece of paper by government officials alleging certain crimes they committed."
A defendant can be held in jail on a complaint, but would be tried on the indictment filed by the grand jury, or the information filed by the prosecutor, said Bruce Green, a former federal prosecutor and law professor at Fordham University.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that all defendants who have been detained by the court are charged in complaints or indictments with criminal offenses.
There has been one defendant, Texas resident Lucas Denney, whose attorneys filed a motion for release due to lack of a formal indictment by a grand jury. Prosecutors said it was an unintentional procedural error, however. Denney’s attorneys said he intended to plead guilty rather than face additional charges.
Lake said Jan. 6 defendants "are being held in prison without being charged." Lake did not cite any particular defendants during her interview, and her campaign didn’t respond to our request for evidence.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office publicly shows online the charges filed against more than 775 defendants, including violent offenses such as using deadly weapons or assaulting police officers. Many of the defendants have pleaded guilty.
We found no evidence of defendants being imprisoned without being charged.
We rate her claim False.
PolitiFact researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this fact-check.
Digg, Clip of 60 Minutes Australia interview with Kari Lake, March 14, 2022
60 Minutes Australia, The second coming of Donald Trump: Can he become president again? March 13, 2022
U.S. Attorney’s Office, Capitol breach cases, Accessed March 14, 2022
U.S. Attorney’s Office, 14 Months Since the Jan. 6 Attack on the Capitol, March 11, 2022
Kari Lake, Arizona Republican primary candidate for governor, Tweet, Oct. 14, 2021
Kari Lake,Tweet, Sept. 14, 2021
Twitter, Clip of Kari Lake interview with RSBN, Oct 10, 2021
The Dispatch, Fact Checking Kari Lake’s Speech at CPAC, March 1, 2022
Politico, Feds admit breaking law with delay in case against alleged Jan. 6 rioter, March 14, 2022
Politico, Trump suggests he might pardon some Jan. 6 defendants, Jan. 30, 2022
AP, Jan. 6 defendants have been charged with crimes, Feb. 11, 2022
Fox10 Phoenix, Arizona governor's race: A look at who's vying for the spot and their plans if elected, Feb. 2, 2022
PolitiFact, Johnson falsely says unvaccinated people around the world are being put into 'internment camps,' Dec. 13, 2021
U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C., Statement to PolitiFact, March 13, 2022
Email and telephone interview, Daniel Richman, Columbia University law professor, March 14, 2022
Email interview, Bruce Green, Fordham University law professor, March 14, 2022
Email interview, L.C. Herbert, Howard University law professor, March 14, 2022
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