US National Guard activates 11,000 troops before presidential inauguration

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Monday, January 11, 2021

Tear Gas outside United States Capitol 20210106

Officials at the US Department of Defense announced on Monday it has activated 10,000 National Guard troops for the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on January 20. The massive show of force is in wake of the Capitol Police being overrun by insurrectionists many standing or damaging the platforms erected for the purpose of Biden taking the Oath of Office.

Currently there are 6,200 troops already in Washington, DC, however according to Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson authorization has been given for up to 15,000 as threats emerge. National Guard troops usually act as a supporting role and are unarmed, however Hokanson has said they will be armed following January 6's insurrection attempt. They quickly placed a 7 ft (2 m) nonscalable fence around the Capitol Building as damage was assessed and plans for an outdoor inauguration continue.

The Secret Service has fully taken over coordinating security ahead of schedule under Secret Service Director James Murray as part of the National Special Security Event. This announcement will aid coordination with DC Metropolitan Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), US Park Police, and the embattled Capitol Police. From outside the capital city, the state police of Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, and Virginia has sent additional heavy weapons units as an abundance of caution with additional National Guard troops.

Officials are concerned over the possibility of additional attacks. Despite President Donald Trump's ban from mainstream social media platforms, extremists emboldened from the breeching the Capitol Building have used it to communicate a possible second armed attack on January 17 called the "Million Militia March" if Vice President Mike Pence invoked the 25th Amendment Pence. If invoked, Pense will assume the powers of the presidency until Biden is inaugurated on January 20. Pence would need the support of the remaining Cabinet Secretaries confirmed by the Senate before taking the Presidential Oath of Office assuming the powers of the presidency. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has already started the procedures with Articles Impeachment as Congress goes out of session on Wednesday even if Pence is the acting president.

The White House has made few statements since the insurrection attempt. Trump did grant State of Emergency in a statement: "[Monday], President Donald J. Trump declared that an emergency exists in the District of Columbia and ordered Federal assistance to supplement the District's response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from the 59th Presidential Inauguration from January 11 to January 24, 2021". Also on Monday, FBI has issued an alert that read, "Armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitols from 16 January through at least 20 January, and at the US Capitol from 17 January through 20 January".