Trump supporters 'may have stolen national secrets' during US Capitol chaos

NATIONAL secrets may have been stolen when Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday, the Department of Justice has warned.

Pictures showed rioters handling lawmakers' papers and personal items as well as offices left ransacked in the incident's aftermath.

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Hundreds of people rushed the Capitol building in an attempt to stop the certification of Joe Biden's win in November's election.

Senior politicians from both parties have raised questions about how such a serious security breach could have occurred, and this afternoon saw US Capitol Police chief Steven Sund tender his resignation.

Speaking at a briefing on Thursday, acting US attorney for the District of Columbia Michael Sherwin said national security could have been compromised.

"This is probably going to take several days to flesh out exactly what happened, what was stolen, what wasn't," he said.

"Items, electronic items, were stolen from senators' offices.

"Documents, materials, were stolen, and we have to identify what was done, mitigate that, and it could have potential national security equities.

"If there was damage, we don't know the extent of that yet."

Senator Jeff Merkley, a Democrat from Oregon, has said at least one laptop was taken from his office.

Photos showed one man with his feet up on the desk of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as well as handling papers and pieces of mail.

The office of Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough, the top advisor to the Senate on rules and procedure, was also seen with papers strewn across the floor.

It is not known how many officers were on duty when the riot began, but the Capitol grounds – which cover just 16 acres – are policed by around 2,300 officers.

Sund's resignation followed those of Sergeant at Arms of the Senate Michael Stenger and Sergeant at Arms of the House Paul Irving.


A total of 68 people were arrested in the immediate aftermath of the incident, and cops have now released images of many others wanted on federal charges.

At a news conference on Thursday, DC Police Chief Robert Contee said: “We have collected numerous images of persons of interests that we are asking the community to help us identify.

“These images depict individuals engaged in various acts of violence or property destruction.”

Sherwin also indicated at yesterday's briefing that the President Trump himself could face charges.

Asked on Thursday whether prosecutors were investigating possible incitement by Trump: "We're looking at all actors here.

"Anyone that had a role and, if the evidence fits the elements of the crime, they're going to be charged."

Speaking at a rally in Washington DC just hours before the unrest, Trump told supporters: "We're going to walk down to the Capitol.

"And we're gonna cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women.

"And we're probably not going to be cheering, so much for some of them, because you'll never take back our country with weakness, you have to show strength and you have to be strong."

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