The military chief of the National Guard said Monday that 5,000 National Guard troops will remain in Washington, D.C. through mid-March, at the request of the U.S. Capitol Police.
“The number 5,000 is directly related to the request for assistance from the U.S. Capitol Police,” said Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson at a Pentagon briefing Monday.
Federal and D.C. law enforcement authorities requested more than 25,000 National Guard members for the inauguration of President Joe Biden last week, after some pro-Trump supporters broke into the Capitol building on January 6.
After the inauguration, the National Guard announced the number would reduce to 7,000 troops by the end of January, and further reduce to 5,000 by mid-March.
Two National Guard sources told Breitbart News that the National Guard presence is being kept in D.C. due to Democrats’ Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.
Acting Army Secretary John Whitley did not mention the impeachment trial as the reason National Guard troops are expected to stay in D.C. Rather, he said during the briefing that there are concerns of situations that could be used by “malicious actors or other problems.”
We receive briefings. We do not engage in that intelligence work ourselves. We rely on our partners and in particular the FBI to provide that information. And so what I can tell you in terms of what they are briefing us is there are several upcoming events. We don’t know what they are over the next several weeks, and they are concerned there could be situations where there are lawful protests, first amendment protected protests that could either be used by malicious actors or other problems that could emerge.
He added: “We are posturing our forces to be able to respond to those threats if they emerge.”