Capitol Police plans for potential SOTU truck convoy
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.