President Biden’s inauguration was held one week ago, yet the National Guard still remains on duty at the Capital (https://www.foxnews.com/politics/gop-national-guard-presence-at-capitol). Several Republican lawmakers have now requested a briefing, asking for an explanation as to why National Guard troops have taken up residence in Washington, D.C.
The National Guard was initially called for after the January 6 attack on the Capitol Building where rioters invaded the Congressional building, leaving five dead. Many were worried that this violence would continue on inauguration day, but thankfully the day was peaceful and without incident (at least in Washington, D.C.). While some have been sent home, at least 5,000 will stay until mid-March. Part of the reason for this is because of the upcoming Trump impeachment trial on February 9th, and the QAnon conspiracy that Trump will be inaugurated on March 4th.
11 Republicans sent a letter to acting Army Secretary John Whitley saying, "Our intention is for the briefing to cover ongoing threats to the Capitol, justification of the decision for a significant troop presence through mid-March, and plans for troop utilization during the time period.” Senator Tom Cotton (R-AK) recently appeared on Fox News, echoing this sentiment, saying, “The lesson of the Capitol riot is not that we should quarter a standing army at the Capitol just in case, but rather that our security measures should be calibrated to the actual threats.
Governors Ron DeSantis, Chris Sununu, Greg Gianforte and Greg Abbott have already called back their National Guardsmen, in large part because of the conditions they have had to endure. Photos have surfaced of guardsmen being stationed in parking garages with little food and few bathrooms. Is a continued troop presence needed or is this an unnecessary use of state resources, especially considering the continued pandemic and vaccine rollout?
Image Credit: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images