After violent protesters forced their way into the Capitol this week, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser criticized the federal government for delays in deploying the National Guard and demanded that President-elect Joe Biden take up statehood during his first 100 days.
The night before President Trump’s “Save America” rally on the Washington Mall, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser wanted to deploy National Guard forces to shore up security in preparation for protests. Normally, a request like that from a major US city would go to the governor of the state. But Washington, DC, is not a state. In fact, its National Guard is the only force in 50 states and four territories that reports directly to the president.
So instead, Bowser’s request went to the Pentagon, which approved the request, but with a caveat: Guardsmen would not carry ammunition and riot gear, or interact with the pro-Trump extremists. As the mob descended on the Capitol, terrified lawmakers and staff crouched under tables. Steny Hoyer, the House majority leader, frantically dialed Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, but the governor’s hands were also tied. When Capitol Police, which is overseen by Congress, phoned the Pentagon for backup, that request was reportedly denied. In the meantime, the unit was savaged with public criticism as a shocked nation watched the Capitol Police were easily overwhelmed and failed to make mass arrests as the mob surged forward. Read more at Insider.
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