Pentagon reportedly reviewing request for National Guard to remain at US Capitol for 60 additional days
Madeline Dovi, DCNF
The Pentagon is reviewing a Capitol Police request for the National Guard to remain stationed at the US Capitol for an additional two months, citing concerns about security and potential violence, defense officials told the Associated Press.
The National Guard was stationed at the Capitol following the violent breach Jan. 6 where five people died, the AP reported. Law enforcement has remained on high alert at the Capitol since Thursday after intelligence operatives uncovered a “potential plot” by far-right militia groups to storm the building.
The purported plot was reportedly tied to the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory that former President Donald Trump will rise to power on March 4, the original presidential inauguration day, according to the AP.
Democratic U.S. Rep. and former CIA analyst Elissa Slotkin told the AP she learned that the request was filed in the last 36 hours and the National Guard is seeking volunteers from across the nation to fill the positions.
I am hearing from contacts at the National Guard that the U.S. Capitol Police have asked for a 60-day extension of the Guard’s mission in and around the Capitol, and that the Guard is soliciting states to send contributions.
— Rep. Elissa Slotkin (@RepSlotkin) March 4, 2021
The more-than 5,000 National Guard soldiers currently stationed in Washington, D.C. are reportedly scheduled to be sent home on March 12, according to the AP. Slotkin stated members of Congress “don’t feel totally secure” at the Capitol and are concerned about security measures moving forward, the AP reported.
“We want to understand what the plan is,” Slotkin said, according to the AP. “None of us like looking at the fencing, the gates, the uniformed presence around the Capitol. We can’t depend on the National Guard for our security.”
Slotkin said, despite security concerns, she will return to her office on Thursday, according to the AP.
Neither the Pentagon or the National Guard have released any statements regarding the request at this time.