Editor's note: This story was first published on Feb. 9, 2021. It is regularly updated, and includes explicit language.
Nearly every day since insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol, the list of those charged in the attack has grown longer. The government has now identified almost 300 suspects in the Jan. 6 rioting, which ended with five people dead, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer.
As Congress considers a presidential impeachment in response to the attack, those criminal cases provide clues to key questions surrounding the Capitol breach: Who exactly joined the mob? What did they do? And why?
To try to answer those questions, NPR is examining the criminal cases related to the Capitol riot, drawing on court documents, public records, news accounts and social media.
A group this large defies generalization. The defendants are predominantly white and male, though there were exceptions. Federal prosecutors say a former member of the Latin Kings gang joined the mob, as did two Virginia police officers. A man in a "Camp Auschwitz" sweatshirt took part, as did a Messianic Rabbi. Far-right militia members decked out in tactical gear rioted next to a county commissioner, a New York City sanitation worker, and a two-time Olympic gold medalist.