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FBI reportedly vetting National Guard troops in D.C. amid fears of insider attack



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According to the Associated Press, the FBI is vetting all 25,000 National Guard members that have been stationed in the nation’s capital for Inauguration Day after concerns of a possible insider attack. U.S. Defense Officials told the AP there has been no evidence of any threats or issues found.

Moreover, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said they will be conducting second and third investigations of everyone involved in the operation and revealed that intelligence reports suggest that groups are organizing armed rallies leading up to Inauguration Day, and possibly after that.

National Guard members have been stationed in Washington D.C. since the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

According to McCarthy, some service members in the military attended the pro-Trump rally at the capitol Jan. 6, but it’s not clear how many were there or who may have participated in the Capitol riot. So far, a few active-duty or National Guard members have been arrested in connection with the Capitol assault, the AP has reported.

The key goal, McCarthy said, is for America’s transfer of power to happen without incident.

“This is a national priority. We have to be successful as an institution,” McCarthy told the AP. “We want to send the message to everyone in the United States and for the rest of the world that we can do this safely and peacefully.”

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Biden frees Venezuelan President Maduro’s drug dealing relatives in prisoner swap



Joe Biden

President Biden freed two of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s relatives Saturday in exchange for seven jailed Americans. The two nephews of Maduro’s wife Cilia Flores, had been convicted in the United States for drug dealing and sentenced to 18 years in prison, according to the BBC.

According to the report, the swap was in exchange for five American oil executives. Those Americans were “exchanged for two of Mr Maduro’s wife’s nephews, who were serving 18-year sentences in the US on drug charges,” the officials told the BBC. Maduro’s nephews were convicted under the Trump administration and the Venezuelan government claims that they were “unjustly” jailed in the United States.

In a statement from the White House Saturday, Biden said the American’s were  “wrongfully detained.”  He said the American’s  would soon be reunited with their relatives, according to reports.

“Today, we celebrate that seven families will be whole once more. To all the families who are still suffering and separated from their loved ones who are wrongfully detained – know that we remain dedicated to securing their release,” the Biden statement added.

Meanwhile, 13 Republican members of Congress sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, requesting more information on “the intelligence report” that alleges Maduro is emptying his prisons and allowing them to head to the United States in the caravans that crossing the porous border.

The letter states that the report warns Border Patrol agents to be on the look-out for “violent criminals from Venezuela among the migrant caravans heading towards the U.S.-Mexico border.”

“It has been widely reported that the Venezuelan regime, under the control of Nicolás Maduro Moros, is deliberately releasing violent prisoners early, including inmates convicted of ‘murder, rape, and extortion,’ and pushing them to join caravans heading to the United States,” the letter states.

You can follow Sara A. Carter on Twitter @SaraCarterDC.

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