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A Trump supporter celebrates atop the inaugural platform amid Wednesday's assault on the Capitol. Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

Authorities are hoping a nightly curfew and far smaller crowd will keep President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration from descending into a repeat of Wednesday's Capitol chaos.

Why it matters: The fact that a crowd of Trump supporters breached the Capitol and scaled the platform where Biden is slated to take the presidential oath has led to criticism by political leaders, calls for investigations and reflection about how it will alter a normally festive day.

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said today the performance by Capitol Police was a massive failure.
  • The chief later announced his resignation, as did the Senate sergeant-at-arms, and the Secret Service reminded everyone it would be in charge that day.

Sen. Roy Blunt, chair of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, told reporters "the Capitol Police will and should really do a quick review here of what went wrong, and what they need to do to be sure nothing like that could happen again.”

  • The inauguration “is always a high-security moment,” he added, because it's outside and “has so many different targets to it.” Blunt expressed hope, though, because "we're gonna have … less than 3,000 people in the secure area, as opposed to 200,000, so that part gets easier."

The changes already made: Washington will be under a state of emergency until 3pm on Jan. 21, the day after Biden’s inauguration.

  • The state of emergency gives officials heightened powers to tap into funds, coordinate between agencies and enlist special police help. It also gives the mayor power to announce a new curfew, if needed.
  • Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy said today that military personnel are erecting a 7-foot-tall “non-scalable” fence around the Capitol grounds, a fence that will remain in place for at least 30 days.
  • The Metropolitan Police Dept. said at least 6,200 National Guardsmen from D.C. and surrounding states will be deployed to the city by this weekend.
  • The troops will be on a 30-day mobilization plan extending beyond the inauguration.

Go deeper: Listen to Dan Primack discuss the Capitol insurrection on the Axios Re:Cap podcast.

Go deeper

McConnell: Trump "provoked" Capitol mob

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday that the pro-Trump mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was "provoked by the president and other powerful people."

Why it matters: Trump was impeached by the House last week for "incitement of insurrection." McConnell has not said how he will vote in Trump's coming Senate impeachment trial, but sources told Axios' Mike Allen that the chances of him voting to convict are higher than 50%.

20 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Joe Biden sworn in as 46th president of the United States

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Joe Biden was sworn in just before noon on Wednesday as the 46th president of the United States, in an inauguration ceremony unlike any other.

Why it matters: The 78-year-old Democrat assumes the presidency at a fraught moment for the country, which remains polarized and in the grips of a coronavirus crisis that has killed more than 400,000 Americans.

20 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Kamala Harris sworn in as vice president

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

In a historic inauguration, Kamala Harris was sworn in on Wednesday as the vice president of the United States.

Why it matters: Harris is the first woman, Black American and Indian American to serve as vice president in U.S. history. In addition to serving as Biden's No. 2, she will act as a critical tie-breaking vote in the 50-50 Senate.