DC Mayor calls in 340 National Guard troops ahead of ‘wild’ pro-Trump protests in the city as streets are closed and the president promises to attend rally on the day Congress will count Electoral College votes
- Muriel Bowser urged calm Monday as some 340 troops were activated
- Road closures were also announced across the capital ahead of Congress’ expected vote to affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory
- Bowser put in a request on NYE’s for Guard members from January 5 to 7
- An official said the D.C. National Guard members will be used for traffic control and other assistance but they will not be armed or wearing body armor
- Trump has so far refused to concede while whipping up support for protests
Muriel Bowser urged calm Monday as some 340 troops were activated ahead of Congress’ expected vote to affirm President-elect Joe Biden‘s victory Wednesday. Road closures were also announced across the capital.
According to a U.S. defense official, Mayor Bowser put in a request on New Year´s Eve to have Guard members on the streets from January 5 to 7, to help with the protests.
The official said the D.C. National Guard members will be used for traffic control and other assistance but they will not be armed or wearing body armor. Her request was approved by Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller it was reported Monday.
Congress is meeting this week to certify the Electoral College results; President Donald Trump has so far refused to concede while whipping up support for protests this week.
At least a dozen Republican senators have also signaled they will stand in the way of the President-elect.
The president announced last month that he would be attending the ‘wild’ protest. He tweeted: ‘Statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 Election. Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!’
He continues to share tweets about the event, writing Sunday: ‘I will be there. Historic day!’
Mayor Muriel Bowser has called in the National Guard to help manage potentially violent pro Donald Trump protests this week
A member of the Proud Boys is stabbed during street fights in Washington DC after a Stop the Steal rally protesting the United States presidential election results on December 12
At least four protesters have been stabbed after violence erupted between the Proud Boys and Black Lives Matter counter-protesters following the second Million MAGA March in Washington D.C. last month
During a press conference on Monday, Bowser asked that people stay away from downtown D.C., and avoid confrontations with anyone who is ‘looking for a fight.’
But, she warned, ‘we will not allow people to incite violence, intimidate our residents or cause destruction in our city.’
There will be about 115 Guard troops on duty at any one time in the city, said the defense official, who provided details on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.
Trump continues to share tweets about the event, writing Sunday: ‘I will be there. Historic day!’
Congress is meeting this week to certify the Electoral College results, and President Donald Trump has refused to concede while whipping up support for protests
On Wednesday, a joint session of Congress will count the certified electoral votes to confirm Joe Biden as the new President
The official said Guard members will be used to set up traffic control points around the city and to stand with district police officers at all the city´s Metro stops.
Acting Police Chief Robert Contee said Guard troops will also be used for some crowd management.
‘Some of our intelligence certainly suggests there will be increased crowd sizes,’ said Contee, adding, ‘There are people intent on coming to our city armed.’
Because D.C. does not have a governor, the designated commander of the city´s National Guard is Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy. Any D.C. requests for Guard deployments have to be approved by him.
The defense official said that there will be no active duty military troops in the city, and the U.S. military will not be providing any aircraft or intelligence.
Members of the far right group the Proud Boys and BLM activists have running street fights in Washington DC after a Stop the Steal rally protesting the presidential election results
Thousands of the president’s loyal followers gathered outside the Supreme Court to protest on December 11
The D.C. Guard will provide specialized teams that will be prepared to respond to any chemical or biological incident. But the official said there will be no D.C. Guard members on the National Mall or at the U.S. Capitol.
The rally is scheduled for January 6 – the same day Congress is scheduled to meet to accept the presidential election results.
The Trump campaign has continued to insist that the election results are illegitimate and have disputed them by launching several failed legal challenge.