Capitol Police requested an extension of National Guard support at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday for two more months.
A Pentagon official confirmed to American Military News on Thursday that the DOD received the request and is currently reviewing it.
Rep. Elissa Slotkin announced the extension late Thursday morning in a series of tweets. “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,” she said.
The current National Guard support mission at the U.S. Capitol was set to end on March 12.
Slotkin criticized the apparent secrecy of the request, which comes unknown to Slotkin and other members of Congress.
“No one likes seeing the fortress-like security around the Capitol. And no one wants to again have a security problem in and around this symbolic place,” she tweeted. “But whether an extension has been requested or the mission is indeed terminating on March 12, it’s critical that members of Congress get a briefing on what’s behind these decisions.”
On Feb. 23, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby told reporters that the department’s plan was to conclude the National Guard’s mission in D.C. on March 12.
“We’re not in receipt of a request for an extension right now and the last thing I’d say is what he said to those soldiers, that he doesn’t want them to be up there one day longer than they’re needed,” he said at the time.
Kirby added, “I have not heard any conversations about that or r any requests to try to move it beyond the original two months. I think we’d like to see how the next few weeks bears out.”
On Wednesday, law enforcement in D.C. were on high alert amid new intelligence indicating potential militia activity near the Capitol on Thursday.
The Capitol Police said in a Wednesday press release, “We have obtained intelligence that shows a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group on Thursday, March 4.”
“We have already made significant security upgrades to include establishing a physical structure and increasing manpower to ensure the protection of Congress, the public and our police officers,” Capitol Police said. “Our Department is working with our local, state, and federal partners to stop any threats to the Capitol. We are taking the intelligence seriously. Due to the sensitive nature of this information, we cannot provide additional details at this time.”
In a Tuesday bulletin, the FBI and DHS said some domestic violent extremists (DVE) groups believe a QAnon conspiracy theory that former President Donald Trump “will be inaugurated on 4 March.”
The FBI/DHS bulletin further stated militia violent extremists (MVEs) have discussed plans since late February “to take control of the US Capitol and remove Democratic lawmakers on or about 4 March and discussed aspirational plans to persuade thousands to travel to Washington, DC, to participate, according to FBI reporting.”
“MVEs also have allegedly threatened an attack against the US Capitol using explosives to kill as many members of Congress as possible during the upcoming State of the Union address, according the US Capitol Police Chief,” the FBI/DHS bulletin states.