The capital will remain under National Guard protection for the foreseeable future, according to CNN.
According to reports, nearly 5,000 National Guard troops will remain in the nation’s capital, in part to concerns of additional violence from supporters for former President Donald J. Trump.
“Some of these people have figured out that apparently 75 years ago, the President used to be inaugurated on March 4. Okay, now why that’s relevant, God knows, at any rate, now they are thinking maybe we should gather again and storm the Capitol on March 4 … that is circulating online,” Rep. Adam Smith, the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, said Wednesday during a hearing with defense officials.
“Stuff like that circulates all the time, does it mean it’s going to happen, probably not, but if you want to help, tell them not to do that, tell them that the election is over. Joe Biden won. It was a free and fair election, and let’s get to work, that too would help reduce the well I don’t know fear/paranoia that people feel that requires everything that we’re seeing around here,” he added.
The request for 4,900 National Guard troops to stay in Washington through March 12 was made by Capitol Hill Police, while the Pentagon continues to work with relevant law enforcement to coordinate federal resources.
“The number was based on different missions that they would, the National Guard members would be supporting, response force, perimeter, security, those kinds of mission sets. We’re working with them. As you know, the current request ends on March 12. We’re trying to determine with them is what is the right level of security that they need from the National Guard considering that the circumstances have changed,” Pentagon official Robert Salesses told lawmakers.
“We work very closely with the FBI, Secret Service, and others and the Capitol Police to try to determine what they believe that threat is, and then looking at what they believe is the need for the National Guard, or the types of mission sets that they need support from, we work very closely with them to try to determine what that is. Obviously 4900 is a very large number here on the Capitol,” he added.