Feb 19, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Capitol Police plans for potential SOTU truck convoy

Capitol Police. Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

The Capitol Police said Friday they are planning “extra security” for President Biden’s State of the Union address on March 1 in anticipation of a possible truck convoy aimed at disrupting the event.

Why it matters: The Capitol was rocked last year by a series of major security incidents, including the Jan. 6 riot and the Good Friday Attack, putting security officials on high alert in the face of risks.

  • Capitol Police have been deployed in large numbers during protests at the Capitol and Supreme Court buildings, including a September rally protesting the treatment of Jan. 6 riot defendants.

Driving the news: The Department of Homeland Security warned in a bulletin last week that truckers protesting vaccine mandates could make their way from California to Washington. D.C. for the speech.

  • The warning came as right-wingers in the U.S., most prominently Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), have celebrated similar convoys in Canada.
  • “I hope the truckers do come to America, and I hope they clog up cities,“ Paul told the Washington Post last week.

What they’re saying: ”Law enforcement agencies across the National Capital Region are aware of plans for a series of truck convoys arriving in Washington, DC around the time of the State of the Union,” the Capitol Police said in a statement.

  • The department is coordinating with other law enforcement agencies including the D.C. police, U.S. Park Police, Secret Service and D.C. National Guard, the statement said.
  • ”As with any demonstration, the USCP will facilitate lawful First Amendment activity.”
  • The Capitol Police Board is also briefing top lawmakers, including leadership and relevant committee chairs, on the possible convoy, according to Roll Call.

A fence around the inner perimeter of the Capitol, which was put up to protect the Capitol in the aftermath of Jan. 6 and was redeployed in advance of the September rally, could make another appearance.

  • “The temporary inner-perimeter fence is part of those ongoing discussions and remains an option,” another statement from the Capitol Police said.
  • No final decision on the fence has been made, they added.
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