The Army is activating all the District of Columbia National Guard — 1,100 troops — in response to a request from Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, an Army official stated on Wednesday.
The troops are being despatched to the D.C. Armory and might be deployed to the Capitol and to different factors round Washington, the official stated.
In a press release, Jonathan Hoffman, the chief Pentagon spokesman, stated the Guard had been mobilized and the response could be led by the Justice Department. The choice by Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and Christopher C. Miller, the performing protection secretary, got here as protesters breached the Capitol.
Mr. Miller stated on Wednesday afternoon that he had spoken with Vice President Mike Pence, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senators Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer, and Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland in regards to the protests on the Capitol.
“We have fully activated the D.C. National Guard to assist federal and local law enforcement as they work to peacefully address the situation,” Mr. Miller stated. “We are prepared to provide additional support as necessary and appropriate as requested by local authorities. Our people are sworn to defend the Constitution and our democratic form of government, and they will act accordingly.”
Mr. Hoffman famous that the troops have been deploying in “support” of federal regulation enforcement within the district, reflecting Defense officers’ reluctance to ship navy troops to the Capitol. Defense officers need the authorities in Washington to make use of the native police and different regulation enforcement businesses to confront the protesters, with the National Guard troops in assist however not within the lead, to keep away from the specter of a navy battling election protests.
But the tense standoff on the Capitol, and the breach by Trump supporters, led to the choice, officers stated.
The F.B.I. additionally mobilized its officers to bolster the Capitol Police, a spokesman stated.
Bureau brokers went to the Capitol grounds on Wednesday to assist the police on the scene shield the constructing and the general public. A handful of the F.B.I. brokers arrived in camouflage and bearing shields and machine weapons late within the afternoon exterior the safe location the place the senators have been being held.
The deployment signaled the rising alarm amongst federal officers seen the chaos swirling across the Capitol constructing on Wednesday.
“The F.B.I. has been deployed to assist our U.S. Capitol Police partners, as requested, in protection of federal property and public safety,” the F.B.I. assertion stated.
The bureau wouldn’t say what number of of its brokers have been deployed to the capitol. But a former authorities official stated that earlier on Wednesday, all F.B.I. brokers within the area have been alerted that they might be referred to as to downtown Washington.