When reporters and lawmakers arrived at the US Capitol on Wednesday, they were surprised to find hundreds of National Guard soldiers sleeping on the marble floor of the building.
Riot shields are stacked in an orderly manner nearby, and guns are leaning against a black backpack. The half-empty water bottles sat at the foot of the troops, some fell on the wall or near the statue of the former president.
Director of the Army Affairs Department: At least 25 domestic terrorism cases have been made public against CAPITOL RIOT
Those photos taken with the virus now, however, represent only a small part of the up to 15,000 active National Guards who will be deployed to Washington, DC, the inauguration of future President-elect Biden next week.
Currently, there are an estimated 2,000 guard members on Capitol Hill. They have deployed a full set of anti-riot equipment and protective equipment, and are allowed to use lethal force for self-defense when necessary.
Approximately 6,200 people traveled to the country’s capital from six nearby states, and at least 10,000 are expected to be deployed by Saturday.
Second Lieutenant Renee Lee of the District of Columbia National Guard told Fox News: “The National Guard is here to support the peaceful transition of power and to ensure the safety and well-being of our fellow citizens.”
“As soldiers and pilots rotate between different shifts, they have a short time to rest in these designated rest areas before moving to the next post. As the National Guard personnel continue to arrive in Washington, their Accommodation conditions are coordinated.”
Senior military officials confirmed to Fox News that Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller has delegated power to the Second Army. Ryan McCarthy commands and controls the forces in Washington.
McCarthy has authorized the armed forces near the Capitol because security measures are improving and another violent clash is expected next week.
An anonymous American told Reuters that the military is not the first line of defense. The exit pointed out that the inauguration law enforcement agency increased its budget after the Capitol was under siege last Wednesday.
However, the Chief of the National Guard, General Daniel Hokanson, said in a telephone news conference on Monday that all National Guard troops will carry weapons.
Despite these strict precautions, the tension on Hill continues to increase.
Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen (Jeffrey Rosen) warned any bad actors in the first camera statement on Wednesday that the authorities will act quickly.
He said: “I want to send a clear message to anyone considering violence, threats of violence or other criminal acts: We will not tolerate any attempt to disrupt the peace and peaceful transfer that our constitution requires on January 20.” . “We will not tolerate any attempt to forcibly occupy government buildings. We will not use violence, vandalism or any other form of lawlessness as an excuse.”
On Tuesday, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Peter Gaynor, issued a memorandum to set the deadline for special national security activities for the 59th President’s inauguration from January 13.
He wrote: “The Department of Public Information has received multiple requests, including Congress and the Mayor of Washington, D.C., requesting that the NSSE be extended to the week before the 59th President’s inauguration on January 20, 2021.” “In light of these. Requirement, the recent events in the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 and the events planned to be held in Washington DC before the inauguration ceremony. I think it is necessary to extend the NSSE to the beginning of January 13, 2021. Unified command and control. Ensure the safety of this special event.”
In a rare letter signed by all eight members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the four-star military official condemned the attack on the Capitol last week and warned against further riots.
They wrote: “As service members, we must embody the values and ideals of the country.” “Any behavior that undermines the constitutional process not only violates our traditions, values and oaths, but also violates the law.”
Pentagon officials told the New York Times that they were “deeply concerned” about the protests scheduled for the inauguration next week, of which 16 protests have been registered and they said they will be armed.
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Defense officials told Fox News that the threat level is much higher than what the news media currently reports.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.