Trump approves DC emergency declaration ahead of Biden inauguration
President Trump on Monday declared an emergency in Washington, D.C., and ordered federal assistance to supplement efforts to prepare for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration later this month.
The move came after D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) over the weekend asked Trump to issue an emergency declaration amid concerns about potential threats to the inauguration on Jan. 20 after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in a deadly and violent attack last week.
House Democrats earlier Monday formally introduced an article of impeachment charging Trump with inciting the Capitol riots Wednesday.
Trump’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide assistance for emergency actions under the Stafford Act.
“Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency,” the declaration released by the White House Monday evening states. “Emergency protective measures, limited to direct Federal assistance, will be provided at 100 percent Federal funding.”
The emergency declaration will last from Jan. 11 to Jan. 24.
Trump has been widely criticized for inciting violence that led to the riots last week. He encouraged his supporters to come to D.C. on Wednesday — the day Congress met to officials count the Electoral College votes affirming Biden’s win — to protest the presidential election results.
Before the riots, Trump delivered an address to the crowd, repeating his false claim that he won the election, urging them to “fight” and directing them toward the Capitol.
The riots have led to at least five deaths and delayed the counting of the Electoral College votes, which was completed last Thursday.
Trump has faced pressure to leave or be removed from office; the House is expected to vote on the article of impeachment on Wednesday.
After two months of denying the presidential election results, Trump finally acknowledged a new administration would be taking hold on Jan. 20 last week and said his focus was on a “smooth” and “orderly” transition of power.
Trump has been quiet over the last several days after Twitter permanently suspended his account on Friday “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”
The Trump administration has taken other steps to ramp up security ahead of the inauguration, amid reports of potential threats.
Separately, outgoing acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf earlier Monday said that the Secret Service would begin implementing security measures related to the inauguration on Wednesday, six days earlier than originally planned, because of the recent events.
The D.C. National Guard plans to have at minimum 10,000 troops in D.C. by Saturday in order to boost security before the inauguration.