DC grapples with major security threats as Biden’s inauguration nears

Local and federal security officials near the Capitol in Washington, D.C. expect about 20,000 National Guard members to be involved in President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration next week. January 14, 2021. Photo by Matt Hecht/National Guard/Pool / Latin America News Agency

The nation’s capital will have extensive military presence next week when Joe Biden takes the oath of office and becomes the 46th U.S. president.

Washington D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee said on Wednesday: “The final numbers will be provided from the United States Secret Service. I think you can expect to see somewhere upwards beyond 20,000 members of the National Guard that will be here in the footprint of the District of Columbia.”

That’s four times the number of troops currently in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.

On Inauguration Day, the National Mall will be closed. The Secret Service is taking all kinds of precautions to prevent another violent assault.

It’s not just in DC either. State capitals across the country are bracing for demonstrations or at worst, armed insurrection.

Around the California State Capitol, Highway Patrol and the Sacramento Police are ramping up security. A six-foot perimeter fence went up this morning. And CHP denied a conservative group a permit to rally at there this weekend.

Governor Gavin Newsom said Monday he’s prepared to activate the California National Guard if necessary.

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Credits

Guest:

  • Garrett Graff - journalist, historian, and director for cyber initiatives for the Aspen Digital program at the Aspen Institute - @vermontgmg