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DC mayor asks DHS for increased security measures surrounding inauguration

DC mayor asks DHS for increased security measures surrounding inauguration
© Bonnie Cash

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel BowserMuriel BowserThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Upbeat jobs data, relaxed COVID-19 restrictions offer rosier US picture Bowser on Manchin's DC statehood stance: He's 'not right' DC mayor defends restricting dancing at weddings amid pushback MORE (D) on Sunday called on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to take additional steps to secure the nation's capital ahead of President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenDefense lawyers for alleged Capitol rioters to get tours of U.S. Capitol Sasse to introduce legislation giving new hires signing bonuses after negative jobs report Three questions about Biden's conservation goals MORE's inauguration.

In a letter to acting DHS Secretary Chad WolfChad WolfLawmakers slam DHS watchdog following report calling for 'multi-year transformation' Intel heads to resume worldwide threats hearing scrapped under Trump Sunday shows preview: Democrats eye passage of infrastructure bill; health experts warn of fourth coronavirus wave MORE, Bowser called for several specific steps to be taken, including an extension of the special security period surrounding the inauguration, the declaration of a pre-disaster zone, and increased coordination between federal law enforcement agencies to secure federal buildings with the hopes of allowing D.C. police to respond to the city's other needs.

The statement called Wednesday's riot at the U.S. Capitol an "unprecedented terrorist attack" and called the measures outlined in her letter "essential to demonstrating our collective resolve in ensuring the Constitutional transition of power and our nation's capital in the day's leading up to it."

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Bowser asked Wolf to expend the already-declared special security period from its current duration of Jan. 19 to Jan. 21, to Jan. 11 to Jan. 24. She also asked the Justice Department to direct the FBI to provide daily security briefings from Jan. 11 to Jan. 24 and the Department of the Interior to cancel any public gathering permits approved for that period to be canceled and to not issue any new permits.

DHS officials did not immediately return a request for comment on Bowser's statement from The Hill.

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In an interview Sunday afternoon on MSNBC, Bowser also pointed to reported delays in the federal and multi-state response to the Capitol riot, including the delay in the Pentagon authorizing the deployment of the D.C. National Guard, as a reason why the District of Columbia should be made the nation's 51st state.

Maryland's governor, Larry Hogan (R), confirmed those delays occurred during an interview Sunday with CNN's Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperCNN's Jake Tapper questions giving some GOP leaders airtime Cheney slams Trump on 'big lie' over election Biden adviser on schools reopening in the fall: 'We can't look in a crystal ball' MORE, but said that he couldn't answer why it took so long for Maryland National Guardsmen and law enforcement agencies to be given authority to enter the District to aid Congress.

"So, our Guard mobilized and was ready. But we couldn't actually cross over the border into D.C. without the OK. And that was quite some time. We kept running it up the flagpole, our generals talking to the National Guard generals. And eventually, I got a call from Ryan McCarthyRyan McCarthyOvernight Defense: Former Navy secretary reportedly spent .4M on travel | Ex-Pentagon chief Miller to testify on Jan. 6 Capitol attack | Austin to deliver West Point commencement speech Trump's Navy secretary spent over M on travel during pandemic: report Army report confirms Vanessa Guillén was sexually harassed before her death MORE, the secretary of the Army, asking if we could come into the city. But we had already been mobilizing," Hogan said Sunday.

Five people, including one Capitol Police officer died as a result of Wednesday's riots, which have since been roundly condemned by lawmakers in both parties. Numerous members of Congress including several Republican senators have called for the president to immediately resign or face removal via impeachment or the 25th amendment in response to the mob's incitement by Trump moments before at a D.C. rally as well as his later praise for them in a video message.