Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser activated more than 300 D.C. National Guard (DCNG) members to support city law enforcement during pro-Trump demonstrations expected for the presidential election certification on Wednesday. President Donald Trump has continued to challenge the election results, and at least a dozen members of Congress plan to challenge the certification.
On Monday, the DCNG announced it is activating about 340 DC guardsmen from Jan. 5 to 7 to help assist law enforcement in cordoning off streets and providing crowd control measures at several metro stations around the city.
“At the request of Mayor Muriel Bowser, the District of Columbia National Guard is in a support role to the Metropolitan Police Department which will enable them to provide a safe environment for our fellow citizens to exercise their first amendment right to demonstrate,” said Maj. Gen. William J. Walker, Commanding General of the D.C. National Guard. He added, “Our main mission is augmenting select traffic control points and metro stations identified by MPD.”
The Washington Post reported at least four permits have been granted as of last week for separate pro-Trump rallies in D.C. on Jan. 6, and multiple smaller demonstrations may also be expected.
The DCNG said its specially trained Civil Support Team personnel are also available to assist D.C. Fire and Emergency Management Services. Additional guardsmen are also on standby.
Demonstrations are expected in the city as Congress convenes on Wednesday to tally the electoral college votes certifying Joe Biden as president-elect. Trump has repeatedly tweeted calls for his supporters to come to D.C. on Wednesday, as he has questioned the election results and raised allegations of fraud.
In mid-December, Trump tweeted, “Peter Navarro releases 36-page report alleging election fraud ‘more than sufficient’ to swing victory to Trump https://washex.am/3nwaBCe. A great report by Peter. Statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 Election. Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”
Trump’s supporters previously rallied in D.C. in November after several U.S. media outlets called the presidential race for Biden. At least tens of thousands of Trump supporters attended the rally, but the event saw several instances of violence after counter-demonstrators turned out to oppose the Trump rally.
In addition to Trump calling on his supporters to again come to D.C., Sen. Ted Cruz and at least 10 other Republican senators and over one hundred more Republican House Members are expected to raise objections to the state-by-state certifications of electoral college votes on Wednesday.
In a Saturday statement, Cruz and nine other Republican senators said, “The election of 2020, like the election of 2016, was hard fought and, in many swing states, narrowly decided. The 2020 election, however, featured unprecedented allegations of voter fraud, violations and lax enforcement of election law, and other voting irregularities.”
Cruz and his fellow Republican Senators said they will object to certifying the electoral college votes and will instead follow the precedent set in the 1877 Hayes-Tilden presidential dispute and call for an electoral commission consisting of five Senators, five House Members, and five Supreme Court Justices-to consider and resolve the disputed returns.
In addition to calling for support from the DCNG, MPD placed notices announcing they are temporarily prohibitting all firearms within 1,000 feet of designated protest areas.