On Wednesday, President Donald Trump ordered National Guard troops and federal protective services personnel to the U.S. Capitol after pro-Trump demonstrators stormed the building, interrupting an electoral college vote certification process to affirm Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweeted, “At President @realDonaldTrump’s direction, the National Guard is on the way along with other federal protective services. We reiterate President Trump’s call against violence and to remain peaceful.”
In a Pentagon statement to American Military News, Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman said, “The D.C. Guard has been mobilized to provide support to federal law enforcement in the District. [Acting Defence Secretary Chris Miller has been in contact with Congressional leadership, and [U.S. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy] has been working with the D.C. government. The law enforcement response will be led by the Department of Justice.”
“Earlier this week, Mayor Bowser requested approximately 340 D.C. National Guardsmen to assist D.C. police in preparation for possible protests today. That request was approved. Today, the mayor requested the full activation of the D.C. Guard to support local and federal law enforcement as they respond to the situation at the Capitol. That request was approved. There have been no other requests from the D.C. government,” Hoffman said in a second statement.
An Army official told the New York Times about 1,100 troops were being called up. The D.C. National Guard has 2,700 soldiers and airmen in its ranks.
USA Today reported House Speaker Nancy Pelosi requested the National Guard assistance earlier on Wednesday.
Protestors stormed the Capitol on Wednesday as Congress was set to certify electoral college results affirming Biden’s win in the 2020 election despite President Trump’s continued challenges to the election results.
Clashes between police and the protestors could be seen inside and outside the building as Congress was forced to recess and lockdown, stopping the vote certification process. Vice President Mike Pence was also evacuated during the chaos at the Capitol.
As the clashes inside the Capitol progressed, a woman was shot. She has since been evacuated from the building.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered a 6 p.m. curfew on Wednesday.