Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) on Monday announced that she’s mobilizing about a hundred D.C. National Guard troops to help manage the thousands of Trump supporters expecting to flood the nation’s capital in the next few days to protest Congress on Wednesday certifying the states’ Electoral College votes cast back on December 14.
The Pentagon on Monday subsequently approved Bowser’s request, a defense official told CNN.
A U.S. defense official told the Associated Press that Bowser put in a request on New Year’s Eve to have Guard members on the streets from January 5 to 7, in order to help with the protests. The official reportedly said the D.C. National Guard troops will be used for traffic control and other assistance but they will not be armed or wearing body armor.
During her Monday press conference, she stated that the troops will be unarmed but will be expected to assist Metro Police in arresting individuals openly carrying firearms.
“We will not allow people to incite violence, intimidate residents or cause destruction in our city,” Bowser said, then warning DC residents to avoid downtown and adding that she is thinking about issuing a curfew for Tuesday and Wednesday.
A spokesman for the D.C. National Guard confirmed troops’ involvement to The Daily Caller in a statement indicating more details would be released later in the day.
“The District of Columbia National Guard will provide support to the city during demonstrations this week,” the statement reads. “We will provide more information about our support later today.”
Despite the Electoral College on December 14 declaring President-elect Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 election, President Donald Trump refuses to concede and routinely has claimed that the election was “rigged” and “stolen” from him, alleging widespread election fraud.
11 GOP senators have stated they will object to the certification of the electoral votes on Wednesday along with some members of the House. Despite this, an overwhelming amount of experts have called this effort to overturn the election results a longshot with little to no chance of succeeding.
Trump has repeatedly urged his supporters to assemble in the nation’s capitol ahead of Wednesday’s certification.
Back in November, two weekends after Election Day, many Trump supporters converged on Washington in a march against what they saw as a fraud-riddled election. Counter protests from left-wing groups challenged them, resulting in violent clashes breaking out with members of Antifa.
During this summer’s George Floyd protests, which resulted in intense violence and property damage in the city, Bowser did not call in the National Guard. Trump, however, going against Bowser’s wishes, controversially called in the Guard. The president faced intense criticism for the military’s crowd control tactics used against protesters and rioters.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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