Outer fencing around Capitol comes down

Capitol security officials have finished removing outer perimeter fencing that had been surrounding the complex since a day after the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection.

The acting House sergeant-at-arms announced Friday that the outer fence stretching blocks away from the Capitol building would be removed over the weekend. And on Wednesday, U.S. Capitol Police confirmed in a statement that all of the outer fencing had been removed and affected roads had reopened.

The Capitol fence is not completely gone, however. There is still a barrier that closely circles the main Capitol building as the architect of the Capitol continues to make repairs.

But the remaining fence does not prevent members of the public from moving about the Capitol Hill neighborhood or impact car traffic as extensively as before.

“The inner perimeter fence, around the Capitol Building, is still in place, while the Department works with our congressional stakeholders and law enforcement partners to strengthen our security posture,” the Capitol Police said in the statement.

“The USCP is ready to quickly ramp up security at a moment’s notice, if needed,” the agency added.

There is currently no timeline for when the inner Capitol fence will come down.

National Guard troops also remain on the Capitol campus after the Capitol Police requested a two-month extension of the soldiers’ presence in early March.

Acting House Sergeant-at-Arms Timothy Blodgett said in a memo to lawmakers and staff last week that security officials decided to begin removing the fence based on the Capitol Police’s assessment that “there does not exist a known, credible threat against Congress or the Capitol Complex that warrants the temporary security fencing.”

Five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died as a result of the Jan. 6 insurrection by a mob of former President Trump’s supporters as Congress was certifying the presidential election results. Another Capitol Police officer and a Metropolitan Police officer on duty at the Capitol on Jan. 6 also died by suicide days after the attack.

More than 100 police officers on the scene were also injured.

Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman told lawmakers in late February of intelligence indicating militia groups that attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6 “stated their desires that they want to blow up the Capitol and kill as many members as possible” when President Biden delivers a joint address to Congress.

A date for such a speech has not been scheduled.

The Capitol Police also identified a possible plot by members of a militia group to breach the Capitol on March 4, which some believers of the QAnon conspiracy theory falsely predicted would be when Trump would be sworn back into office.

Tags Capitol breach capitol fencing Donald Trump jan. 6 Joe Biden U.S. Capitol
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