Members of the National Guard help police line up as they help police disperse protesters who gather at the U.S. Capitol January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Tasos Katopodis | Getty Images
The DC National Guard will be placed on a 30-day mobilization, ensuring it is on hand for the Jan. 20 nomination of President-elect Joe Biden, two defense officials told NBC News.
The troops, who are unarmed, will monitor air traffic control points and provide support to Capitol Police on Thursday as authorities scramble to secure the perimeter surrounding the Capitol building a day after a crowd backing President Donald Trump took it by storm.
About 200 soldiers with riot gear will be on the streets in the morning and more will likely come later today, a defense official said.
The mobilization comes as the nation continues to deal with Wednesday’s surprising riot in which at least four people have died. The four living former presidents condemned the events of the day, in which a violent mob prevented lawmakers from the generally shallow process of formally confirming Biden’s victory.
The DC National Guard was mobilized during the riots and about 1,100 troops were dispatched to help local police stem the insurgency, the Pentagon said. The deployment came after Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for the force, two sources told NBC News.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo have all announced plans to send National Guard troops to Washington as well.
President Donald Trump, who spoke at a rally protesting the election results shortly before his supporters infiltrated Congress, has not condemned the riots or conceded defeat. He encouraged protesters to be peaceful after storming the Capitol.
The president has continued to assert baseless allegations of electoral fraud, despite findings from his own administration’s justice and homeland security departments indicating otherwise. A person familiar with the matter told NBC News that Trump must be convinced to approve the deployment of the National Guard on Wednesday.
It is typical for the National Guard to be present for inaugurations, and more than 7,000 troops were mobilized for Trump’s inauguration in 2017. It is not known how many will be deployed for Biden’s inauguration.
Biden’s inauguration is expected to be significantly different from previous ceremonies due to public health precautions.
Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn in on Capitol Hill on January 20, but have otherwise altered the tradition to accommodate the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden’s transition team said they are reinventing the typical National Mall gathering and the inaugural Capitol Parade to the White House in a way that will allow Americans to participate from home.
Biden condemned Wednesday’s riots in a nationwide televised address.
“At this hour our democracy is under an unprecedented assault,” said the former vice president.
“This is chaos, it borders on sedition and it must stop now. I call on this crowd to step back and allow this democratic work to move forward,” Biden added.
The success of the rioters in crossing the police barriers has raised questions about the security measures that will be in place for the inauguration.
Senator Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Who sits on the planning committee for Biden’s inauguration, told CBS News that “there are going to have to be major and major reviews of what’s going on. has passed and changes made “.
Klobuchar added that compared to the electoral college’s vote tally, which usually goes off without incident, the inauguration is a major security event every four years.
“Here they had an event that usually goes with a little historical note,” Klobuchar said.
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