The 74-year-old former president later denied any responsibility for the attacks and condemned what took place.
U.S. federal law makes it a crime to engage in “rebellion or insurrection” against the government. Conspiracies to overthrow the U.S. government are also crimes.
The District of Columbia also has its own statutes, with one area stating anyone who incites or urges others to riot will face a fine or up to 180 days in prison.
But these laws may not stick in court, legal experts say. Mr Trump has a strong, wide-ranging argument to say he engaged in free speech, as defined in the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution, as he never explicitly told anyone to riot - at most, he hinted at it (though this can be just as harmful).
Experts told Thomson Reuters that the former president's legal team can make the argument that his rhetoric was “ambiguous” and that by “fight”, he didn’t mean storm the Capitol. Prosecutors have to prove that speech is directed in an attempt to incite “imminent lawless action”.
According to Alexander Tsesis, a law professor at the Loyola University School of Law in Chicago, Mr Trump could be prosecuted if evidence could be found that he knew of - and willfully ignored - a Virginia FBI report warning of extremists heading to Washington.
Ultimately, federal lawyers would need detailed evidence of Mr Trump’s activities before, during and after the rioting at the Capitol to press any charges.
D.C. prosecutor Ken Kohl told the press on 8 January that he didn’t expect criminal charges to be filed against Mr Trump, citing the cautious Biden administration as well as the burden of proof required for trials.
Mr Kohl described the idea of a Trump prosecution as one that “pushes the boundaries of constitutional law” and went on to say the move would be “pretty aggressive”.