Fences and soldiers: Capitol Hill locks down as the inauguration approaches
WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Less than a week before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, Washington, DC, has gone from a tourist attraction to a military zone.
Citing the riot of last week at the United States Capitol – where the inauguration still takes place on January 20 – and with credible threats of more violence, local and federal law enforcement, including services American secrets, have taken unprecedented measures to secure the city. Every day more streets are closed and more fences are erected.
The Pentagon has also deployed thousands of National Guardsmen. More than 20,000, many armed, will occupy the area around Capitol Hill by the day of the inauguration. That’s three times the number of US troops deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and Syria combined. It is not known how long the National Guard will stay in the city.
Senator Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, who will attend the dedication ceremony, said he welcomes the added security.
“I am afraid that a number of these gangsters, these insurgents, these violent right-wing white supremacists will come back with weapons,” he said.
Vice President Mike Pence visited the headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Thursday to be briefed on opening day safety. On Wednesday evening, President Donald Trump delivered his strongest condemnation of the violence to date in a video message.
“Crowd violence goes against everything I believe in and everything our movement stands for,” he said. “No true supporter of mine could ever condone political violence. “
Pence will attend the ribbon cutting ceremony. Trump said he wouldn’t.
Biden said his team are receiving safety briefings.
“I’m not afraid to take the oath outside,” he said.
In the meantime, Democrats and Republicans are calling for an investigation to prevent future domestic attacks.
“Let’s go over this on purpose and find out what happened,” said Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio.