Jan 6, 2021 - Politics & Policy

National Guard, state and federal police deployed as mob breaches U.S. Capitol

Photo of pro-Trump supporters yelling as they storm Capitol Hill
Pro-Trump supporters breeched security and entered the Capitol as Congress debated the a 2020 presidential election Certification. Photo: ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty

The National Guard joined state and federal law enforcement on Wednesday afternoon in attempting to curtail a pro-Trump protest that turned violent as rioters breached the U.S. Capitol and Senate chambers during the Electoral College vote count.

Driving the news: Vice President Mike Pence encouraged the Pentagon mid-afternoon to rapidly deploy the National Guard to the Capitol, sources briefed tell Axios' Jonathan Swan.

The big picture: The Pentagon said roughly 1,100 District of Columbia National Guard members were activated to help federal law enforcement respond to the mob per D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser's request, AP reports.

  • President-elect Joe Biden incited President Trump to “step up," on national television Wednesday afternoon.
  • In a live phone interview with CBS News, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said the situation within the Capitol wasn’t controlled and that: “Help is needed.”

The state of play: White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany wrote in a tweet around 3:30 p.m. ET — about an after the mob first stormed Capitol Hill — that the National Guard had been called in at Trump's direction.

  • Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said he would send members of the state National Guard and 200 members of the Virginia State Police to Washington. In a tweet at 3:29 p.m., he added the action came at Bowser's request.
  • “The FBI has been deployed to assist our U.S. Capitol Police partners as requested in protection of federal property and public safety,” FBI National press secretary Carol Cratty said in a statement to Axios.
    • The deployment of FBI agents "signaled the growing alarm among federal officials viewed the chaos swirling around the Capitol building on Wednesday," the New York Times writes.
  • The Department of Homeland Security deployed Federal Protective Service and Secret Service "to provide assistance to Capitol Hill Police," a DHS spokesperson told Axios.
  • Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan also announced plans around 3:45 p.m. to send troopers and call up a rapid response force to support law enforcement in D.C.
  • New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy joined Northam and Hogan at 4:57 p.m., tweeting that he will deploy New Jersey State Police to D.C. at the request of D.C. officials. The New Jersey National Guard is on standby, he noted.
  • At close to 5 p.m., Bowser said at a press conference that "the metropolitan police department has been deployed to assist the U.S. Capitol Police in restoring order to the capitol."
  • Capitol Police also issued safety guidance to staff in multiple federal buildings.

Of note: The District of Columbia Council issued a statement earlier Wednesday saying, "the Department of Defense denied a request by Mayor Muriel Bowser to expand the responsibilities of the District of Columbia National Guard..."

Go deeper: In photos: Protestors storm U.S. Capitol

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