Washington state National Guard members sent to DC for inauguration
Nearly 400 Washington state National Guard soldiers and airmen are being sent to Washington, D.C., for the presidential inauguration.
They will join more than 20,000 other troops and police from across the country on Jan. 20 and in the days leading up to the inauguration in protecting the U.S. Capitol and supporting federal partners in “a number of different roles as determined by the lead agency,” according to a tweet.
The FBI has warned of potentially violent demonstrations both at the U.S. Capitol and at capitol buildings in every state.
Governors across the country are sending thousands of National Guard troops to Washington, D.C., where the National Mall has been closed to the general public as part of an intense security effort. More than a dozen governors also have called out the Guard to protect their own state capitols and aid local law enforcement officers.
Though details remain murky, according to the Associated Press, demonstrations are expected at state capitols beginning Sunday and leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s succession of President Donald Trump on Wednesday. State officials hope to avoid the type of violence that occurred Jan. 6, when a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, leaving a Capitol Police officer and four others dead.
In Olympia, Washington State Patrol troopers and members of the National Guard arrived on the capitol campus last week to set up extra security ahead of the start of the 2021 legislative session. Gov. Inslee previously activated up to 750 members of the National Guard to help at the state capitol — a decision sparked by both the actions at the nation’s Capitol and at the governor’s mansion the week before.
Associated Press reporter David A. Lieb contributed to this report.